Title

Is There a Cholinergic Survival Incentive for Neurotropic Parasites in the Brain?

Document Type

Article

Department

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Abstract

The reason why some parasites specifically target the brain remains a mystery. Often, it is seen that the primary site of infection is quite remote from the brain, but an eventual involvement of the cerebral tissue is seen to occur that becomes the cause of death of the majority of the patients. In the absence of a clear preferential reason for targeting the brain, chemicals produced by the nervous system, which have miniature concentrations in the blood, appear to set up a chemical attraction that eventually causes them to migrate to the neural tissue. We studied the possible chemicals of neural origin that can lure the parasite toward the brain, enabling them to cause meningoencephalitis. The identification of these chemicals could be of enormous prophylactic significance as blocking the chemotaxis of neurotropic parasite by antagonist drugs and chemicals can prevent cerebral infection and provide ample time to eradicate the parasites at the primary site of infection.