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Report: New Study Suggests Zika Virus May Be Linked To Brain Disease

PERNAMBUCO, Brazil (KDKA) -- Researchers in Brazil believe there may be a connection between the Zika virus and a brain disease that has symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis, according to Newsweek.

Newsweek reports that a recent study has found that Zika could cause acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), an autoimmune condition that has some similarities to multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study examined six patients in Brazil who tested positive for the Zika virus and began to experience neurological symptoms within two weeks of their Zika diagnosis. Two of those patients were diagnosed with ADEM, which causes severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, similar to MS.

According to Newsweek, the patients later continued to experience central nervous system problems. Most had some issues with mobility, while one experienced problems with vision and one had some memory and cognitive issues.

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Previous studies researched a connection between Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Four of the six patients in the Brazilian study were diagnosed with GBS.

Newsweek says researchers will present their findings at an American Academy of Neurology meeting in Vancouver this week.

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