Some Flu Strains can Make Mice Forgetful
Published:01 Mar.2018    Source:Science News
With fevers, chills and aches, the flu can pound the body. Some influenza viruses may hammer the brain, too. Months after being infected with influenza, mice had signs of brain damage and memory trouble, researchers report online February 26 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The new study examined the effects of three types of influenza A — H1N1, the strain behind 2009’s swine flu outbreak; H7N7, a dangerous strain that only rarely infects people; and H3N2, the strain behind much of the 2017–2018 flu season misery (SN: 1/19/18, p. 12). Korte and colleagues shot these viruses into mice’s noses, and then looked for memory problems 30, 60 and 120 days later.
A month after infection, the mice all appeared to have recovered and gained back weight. But those that had received H3N2 and H7N7 had trouble remembering the location of a hidden platform in a pool of water, the researchers found. Mice that received no influenza or the milder H1N1 virus performed normally at the task.