A Mysterious Neurological Condition Is Paralyzing Children
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the rise of a rare polio-like illness that tends to strike children. Acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that affects the nervous system, has sickened 89 people across 33 states so far this year, and doctors aren’t sure what causes it. Scientists still only have a preliminary understanding of how AFM affects children, but it appears to affect muscle tone, sometimes to the point of long-term paralysis. Symptoms include sudden weakness in the limbs, loss of muscle strength and decreased reflexes. Other signs of the disease include droopy eyes, slurred speech, or difficulty swallowing. In particular, there’s a wide spectrum of muscle weakness, ranging from mild weakness in a single limb to almost complete paralysis in all four limbs, or a loss of the ability to breathe on one’s own. One alarming complication is that AFM appears to be triggered by common viruses, which means that children can start off with fever and respiratory issues that can then develop into muscle weakness and other symptoms associated with AFM. Because of how AFM starts, parents may not get their children to the hospital on time to pinpoint a potential viral cause, said Dr. Kevin Messacar, a pediatric infectious disease physician and researcher at Children’s Hospital Colorado. While it’s normal to take care of children at home with fluids, rest and relaxation for illnesses that appear t...
Publication date: Available online 18 February 2019Source: Journal of Molecular BiologyAuthor(s): María Soledad Cosentino, Camila Oses, Camila Vázquez Echegaray, Claudia Solari, Ariel Waisman, Yanina Álvarez, María Victoria Petrone, Marcos Francia, Marcelo Schultz, Gustavo Sevlever, Santiago Miriuka, Valeria Levi, Alejandra GubermanAbstractChromatin remodeling is fundamental for the dynamical changes in transcriptional programs that occur during development and stem cell differentiation. The histone acetyltransferase Kat6b is relevant for neurogenesis in mouse embryos and mutations of this gene ...
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