Recent studies suggest that a vast majority of Ebola survivors from the 2013 outbreak are more prone to brain health issues and neurological disorders. The patients who were successfully treated for the disease six months ago showed abnormal brain activity, according to researchers.

The symptoms of Ebola survivors can go from headaches and memory loss to vision problems and infected semen. Survivors will continue to endure the long-term problems of the virus including weakness, muscle pain and even hallucinations.

An Ebola survivor, named Ericson Musa, from Sierra Leone, holding his Discharge Certificate. Photo: Al Jazeera
An Ebola survivor, named Ericson Musa, from Sierra Leone, holding his Discharge Certificate. Photo: Al Jazeera

The research was focused as part of the Ebola Natural History Study to figure the mysteries behind the brain health issues of Ebola survivors after being treated. In Liberia, 82 Ebola survivors were found with symptoms showing a form of “neurological abnormality” after being examined. The study was led by the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in order to find the reason why the virus is coming back after being successfully treated.

Hopefully for Ebola survivors, the findings will be a pressing matter at the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. The event’s prime outline is to discuss the data collected from multiple studies and its schedule to take place in Vancouver, Canada from April 15 to April 21 this year.

While thousands of people are also suffering from the disease around the world, it’s worth to study the Ebola virus for researchers to find the causes behind it. Moreover, the research will be part of a wider studio of the disease currently affecting more than 17,000 people and it will focus on determining the long-term health effects of the virus.

“While an end to the outbreak has been declared, these survivors are still struggling with long-term problems,” said Dr. Lauren Bowen. “Ebola hasn’t gone for these people,” added Dr Bowen in a statement.

Also, as the Liberian Ministry of Health and by the National Institutes of Health will sponsor the research, Ebola survivors can hope for researchers to end the long-term effects. After patients were thoroughly examined it was determined that most subjects presented neurological disorders affecting the nervous system. It was also noticed that 14 patients fell into a coma while other 20 suffered meningitis, developed after being treated for Ebola. It was reported that two patients suffering from hallucinations, lead them to show suicidal thoughts.

Ironically enough, many people got infected with the deadly virus while helping fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa since 2013. For instance, the Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey is one of the patients dealing with her recovery from the infection for the second time. Although Pauline is currently in a stable condition following the trip back to the hospital, she was also treated last year as the virus began reproducing in her spinal fluid.

Source: WIRED