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Ebola Victims May Live with Lifetime Brain Problems, Nerves

Update Date: Mar 01, 2016 02:03 PM EST
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Although the world has been officially freed of Ebola outbreak, many people who have been victimized by this deadly disease are still facing neurological problems, reveals new study.

As per the researchers, among 82 survivors of Ebola in Liberia, almost everyone faced some neurological problem or another after six months of being infected, reports Live Science

"While an end to the outbreak has been declared, these survivors are still struggling with long-term problems," study author Dr. Lauren Bowen, a neurologist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a statement.

During the outbreak in West Africa, more than 28,000 people were reportedly infected with the virus and over 11,000 people succumbed to the disease, said Bowen. The new study wanted to find out if the remaining 17,000 survivors were still experiencing neurological problems or not, she revealed.

In their study, researchers examined 82 people from Liberia who had the infection and they were all made to go through a neurological exam. The researchers also enquired from the participants if they faced any neurological symptoms, during the treatment as well as after their treatment was over. The exam findings showed that nearly 2/3rd of the participants faced abnormalities in the way their eyes trailed moving objects. These irregularities "normally indicate a subtle degree of damage in the brain," Bowen told Live Science. At least 1/3rd people reported abnormal reflexes, tremors and 17% had signs of disorders affecting the brains's frontal lobes, says Live Science

Some of the most common symptoms reported by the survivors were weakness, memory problems, depression, mood swings and headaches. There were two people who reportedly felt suicidal.

Despite the findings, it is not clear how Ebola may be responsible for the neurological conditions, said researchers. However, the symptoms may be due to excessive blood loss that the Ebola victims experience, said Bowen, reported Live Science

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