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Virus living in people's throats changing mental states

natasa778

Senior Member
Messages
1,774
Here's the most interesting part (for most of us): Since the original study included cognitive tests, the scientists compared the data and saw that people with the virus living in their throats processed visual information about 10% slower than people without the virus — and this difference couldn't be explained by other factors like age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, education, place of birth, or smoking status.

The specific visual information tests where a difference was shown included things like drawing a line that connected numbers in sequence that had been scattered on a page. People with the virus also seemed to have a shorter attention span.

...
To investigate whether the virus might be the cause of that change in visual processing and attention, the researchers then injected mice with the same virus.

Six weeks later, the group of mice with ATCV-1 took about 10% longer to navigate a maze, and they also spent about 20% less time exploring new environments.

The infected mice also showed more than 1,000 gene changes in the parts of the brain that are usually considered essential for memory and learning.


... "There's more and more studies showing that microorganisms in your body have a bigger influence than anything anyone would have predicted," the paper's senior author, James Van Etten, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln plant pathologist, told Healthline.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/algae-virus-may-be-changing-cognitive-ability-2
 

MeSci

ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?
Messages
8,231
Location
Cornwall, UK
Reminds me of the virus or bacteria (can't remember which) that makes mice less fearful and more susceptible to being eaten by cats.

Maybe a parasite? This is quite common in nature.

But testing on animals does not really confirm processes in humans. All it tells you is that a similar-looking thing happens in mice. The mechanisms in mice can be markedly different and thus irrelevant.

And it is CRUEL.
 

natasa778

Senior Member
Messages
1,774
Reminds me of the virus or bacteria (can't remember which) that makes mice less fearful and more susceptible to being eaten by cats.

Toxoplasma gondii ?

Rodents who are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii seem to lose their fear of cats, or more specifically, the odor of cats. And since those mice are more likely to be eaten, T. gondii benefits because it reproduces in the guts of cats. It turns out that people infected with the parasite also show personality changes. The CDC estimates that more than 20% of people over age 12 are infected with T. gondii, and the vast majority don’t know it. The chemical trick that T.gondii plays on its hosts involves manipulating the concentration of dopamine and hormones in the brain. In people, T.gondii infections seem to correlate with increased risk taking, higher car accident rates,lower conscientiousness and and even schizophrenia.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/common-parasite-linked-to-personality-changes/
 
Messages
758
Location
Israel
There was a science fiction program in Britain in the early 1990's called "Red Dwarf". It was very popular.
I used to love it.

One fantasy episode called "Quarentine" involved a "luck virus" , a good mood virus and a madness virus.
So it turns out that maybe a madness virus exists.
Here is an exercpt from it showing someone getting the madness virus, just for those British members who remember it.