Advertisement

What are neurological consequences of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV)?

Neurologic consequences of cytomegalovirus (CMV)infection are rare, particularly in people with a normally functioning immune system.  Patients with HIV/AIDS, history of blood transfusion or organ transplantation, or those on medications which suppress the immune system are prone to CMV infection and thus its neurological consequences. 
In patients with a normally functioning immune system, CMV infection can cause:
-  Aseptic meningitis:  infection of the covering of the brain causing headache, stiff neck and fever
-  Guillain-Barré syndrome:  inflammation of the peripheral nerves causing rapidly progressive numbness and weakness of the arms and legs
-  Facial neuropathy:  infection of the nerve which supplies the muscle of the face
-  Encephalitis or meningoencephalitis:  infection of the brain and its covering causing headache, stiffneck, fever, and seizures
-  Myelitis and transverse myelitis:  infection of the spinal cord causing weakness and numbness in the legs and loss of bladder control
-  Brachial plexopathy:  infection of inflammation of the nerves causing weakness and numbness in an arm or leg

In addition to those listed above, patients with HIV/AIDS are prone to the following neurologic consequences: 
-  Radiculomyelitis or polyradiculomyelopathy:  infection of the nerve roots and spinal cord resulting in severe shooting pain and weakness in the arms or legs
-  Mononeuritis multiplex:  infection or inflammation of multiple nerves causing weakness in two separate limbs
-  Peripheral neuropathy:  numbness and tingling in feet and legs

The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus found universally throughout the world. It infects between 50 to 80 percent of all adults in the United States by the age of 40. CMV belongs to the same family of viruses that includes herpes simplex types 1 and 2, and the viruses that cause infectious mononucleosis (EBV), chickenpox, and shingles. A hallmark of CMV is the reappearance of symptoms throughout life, as the virus cycles through periods of dormancy and active infection. Most people who acquire the virus as children or adults display no signs or have mild symptoms, and no long-term health consequences. Those who do have symptoms experience mononucleosis-like indications, such as a prolonged fever, fatigue, mild hepatitis, and tender lymph nodes. Severe forms of infection include CMV retinitis and encephalitis. Infected individuals periodically shed the virus in their body fluids, such as saliva, urine, blood, tears, semen, or breast milk. It is most commonly transmitted when an uninfected person comes in contact with the infected body fluids and then touches his or her mouth or nose, at which point the virus is absorbed into the mucous membranes.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Continue Learning about Eye and Vision

A Walk Outdoors Can Improve Your Vision
A Walk Outdoors Can Improve Your Vision
In 1967 when Hair opened at the Public Theater in New York, no one thought Let the Sunshine In would become a world-wide chart-topper (sung by the 5th...
Read More
What are symptoms of an eye injury?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
If you see flashes of light following an eye injury, it is a sign of retinal detachment. Another sig...
More Answers
10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips
10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips
Take a look at 10 sight-saving tips to protect your vision and boost your eye health.
Start Slideshow
What Recent Eye Health Developments Have Surprised You the Most?
What Recent Eye Health Developments Have Surprised You the Most?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.