Updated on 27 May 2015
The researchers from Centre for Register-Based Research, Aarhus University in Denmark have now released a report that infections in the brain might infect the Intelligent Quotient (IQ) of a person. In other words, getting seriously ill from other types of infections may result a negative impact on your brain and ability to think.
"Our research have shown a correlation between hospitalization because of the infection and impaired cognition corresponding to an IQ score of about 1.76 which was lower than the average score," said Mr Michael Eriksen Benros, Senior researcher, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
"Infections in the brain could be directly affected, but it could also be through peripheral inflammation, affective to our brain and mental capacity. Infections have previously been associated with both depression and schizophrenia, and has also been proven to be affective towards the cognitive ability of patients who had suffered from dementia. This has been the first major study suggested to infect the brain and cognitive ability in healthy individuals, explained Mr Benros.
According to him, it seemed that the immune system itself could affect the brain to such an extent that the person's cognitive ability measured by an IQ test which would also be impaired many years even after the infection has been cured.
The researchers have examined 1, 90,000 Danish people who were born between 1974 and 1994, had their IQ measured between 2006 and 2012. Among these people, 35 percent of Danes had been hospitalized due to the infection before their IQ test. The researchers have found that people with five or more hospitalizations due to the infections, had an IQ level of about 9.44 which was lower than the average.
The researchers said that they hope the study's findings might lead to further research on the possible participation of the immune system in psychiatric disorders development. The study was mainly published in PLOS ONE journal.