Recent dramatic study highlights the fact that some neuropathies can be caused by viruses.
In this case the virus is known as Dinocampus coccinellae paralysis virus (DcPV), which is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus unique to insects. The virus creates a “zombie ladybug” by inducing a neuropathy that spreads to the ladybug’s entire nervous system and paralyzing it. However DcPV seems to reside in the wasp harmlessly. The bug’s immune system itself triggers the virus into action.
When viruses infect a person’s nervous system symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness, fever and neuropathy. In the case of some viral infections, drowsiness, confusion and convulsions may also be present.
Viruses and Neuropathy
- herpes varicella-zoster (shingles)
- Epstein-Barr virus
- cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE)
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- West Nile virus (WNV)
- dengue virus infection (DENV)
While herpes viruses are most commonly associated with rashes, they also can compromise nerve cells also. As the lead study above demonstrated, viruses can attack the nervous systems and do extensive damage to the body due to the extensive control that nerves have over the functions of organs throughout the body.