Scientists in the United States said lately there is a virus that infects human brains and makes them more stupid.
The algae virus, never before observed in healthy people, was found to affect cognitive functions including visual processing and spatial awareness.
The scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska stumbled upon the discovery when they were undertaking an unrelated study into throat microbes.
The researchers found DNA in the throats of healthy individuals that matched the DNA of a virus known to infect green algae.
Dr Robert Yolken, a virologist who led the original study, said: “Many physiological differences between person A and person B are encoded in the set of genes each inherits from parents,” pointing out that some of these differences are fueled by the various microorganisms humans harbor and the way they interact with the genes.
It is worth noting that 40 out of the 90 participants in the study tested positive for the algae virus.
Those who tested positive performed worse on tests designed to measure the speed and accuracy of visual processing. They also achieved lower scores in tasks designed to measure attention.
The study’s findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.