New Delhi: Indian scientists have found that the cancer-causing virus Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) affects the glial cells or the non-neural cells in the central nervous system and alters molecules like phospho-inositols (PIP); a type of lipid, glycerol, and cholesterol, when the virus infects the brain cells.
The EBV can cause cancers like nasopharyngeal carcinoma (a type of head and neck cancer), B-cell (a type of white blood cells) cancer, stomach cancer, Burkett’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoid disorders, and so on, said the statement issued by the Department of Science and Technology.
More than 95% of the adult population is positive for EBV. However, the infection is mostly asymptomatic, and very little is known about the factors which trigger the development of such disease, it said.
It was the detection of the virus in patients with neurodegenerative diseases that triggered the search for the mechanism of propagation of the virus, the release said.
Since all the techniques available for viral load detection in the brain by far include invasive methods, RS (Raman Spectrometer) can be a sigh of relief for patients undergoing brain biopsies for diagnostic purposes, it said.
Furthermore, it can be helpful in determining the stage of infection based on biomolecular markers and thus aid in early diagnosis, the statement said.