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Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind

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Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 19:18
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Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind that were deeply rooted in psychology. Now viruses rank among the environmental factors thought to trigger brain-ravaging diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzeimer’s disease. Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), in particular, has been linked to MS in past studies. Neuroscientists have determined that the virus makes its entry to the human brain through the olfactory pathway, right along with the odors wafting into our nose. The researchers tested samples of brain cells from people with MS and healthy control subjects and found evidence of the virus in the olfactory bulb in both groups. Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common, as is harboring a dormant reservoir of HHV-6, but in people with MS, the virus is active. The virus appears to invade the brain by infecting a type of glial cell called olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which nourish smell-sensing neurons and guide the virus from the olfactory bulb to their targets in the nervous system. These targets include the limbic system, a group of evolutionarily old structures deep in the brain, which is where viruses like to reactivate. The olfactory neurons and their OECs are among the few brain cells known to regenerate throughout our life. This neurogenesis may keep our sense of smell sharp, but at the cost of providing the virus the opportunity to spread.

1. According to the passage, which of the following is true?

A. The limbic system and the olfactory ensheating cells are one of the many target areas where viruses like to reactivate.
B. The regeneration of the OECs is linked with the spread of the HHV-6 virus.
C. The smell sensing neurons guide the HHV-6 virus to potential targets in the nervous system.
D. An inactive reservoir of HHV-6 in the body is indicative of the person’s lack of susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases.
E. Viruses like to flourish in deep, humidity ridden areas.



2. Why does the author say “Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common…”?

A. To indicate that it is extremely difficult to stop infection through the nasal passage.
B. To prove that there is a greater likelihood of multiple sclerosis in people who have active strains of virus rather than those who do not.
C. To illustrate that HHV-6 infects in the same manner as most other viruses do.
D. To explain the finding that the samples of both the mentioned groups showed the presence of HHV-6.
E. To indicate that there is a chance that the occurrence of multiple sclerosis may increase in the future if the strains of HHV-6 are activated.



3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

A. Those who possess higher concentrations of HHV-6 in the olfactory bulb are at a high risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
B. Those who have a sharper sense of smell are at a greater risk of multiple sclerosis.
C. The absence of multiple sclerosis in a person does not necessarily indicate an absence of the disease causing virus in that person
D. Multiple sclerosis, alongwith other neurodegenerative diseases, can have disease causing viruses lying dormant in the human body without any external symptom of the same.
E. In the absence of the limbic system, it would be difficult for the HHV-6 virus to reactivate.



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Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 19:20
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1. According to the passage, which of the following is true?


A. The limbic system and the olfactory ensheating cells are one of the many target areas where viruses like to reactivate.

Incorrect: Inconsistent. The passage clearly states that the OECs guide the virus to their targets and one such target is the limbic system, where viruses like to reactivate. Therefore, the OECs themselves cannot be the targets.

B. The regeneration of the OECs is linked with the spread of the HHV-6 virus.

Correct. This piece of information is given in the last two sentences of the passage. The author states the neurogenesis provides the virus the opportunity to spread.

C. The smell sensing neurons guide the HHV-6 virus to potential targets in the nervous system.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. As stated in the explanation of the first choice, the OECs guide the virus to targets in the nervous system. There is no information given regarding a similar role of the smell sensing neurons.

D. An inactive reservoir of HHV-6 in the body is indicative of the person’s lack of susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. The author states that in healthy people the virus, though present, is inactive. Nothing is given regarding their likelihood of developing any kind of neurodegenerative disease.

E. Viruses like to flourish in deep, humidity ridden areas.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. This information is completely out of scope and not given in the passage.

2. Why does the author say “Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common…”?


A. To indicate that it is extremely difficult to stop infection through the nasal passage.

Incorrect: Irrelevant. The author is not concerned with all kinds of infections through the nasal passage.

B. To prove that there is a greater likelihood of multiple sclerosis in people who have active strains of virus rather than those who do not.

Incorrect: Irrelevant. The comparison regarding the probability of developing the disease is neither discussed nor indicated.

C. To illustrate that HHV-6 infects in the same manner as most other viruses do.

Incorrect: Irrelevant. Again, no such comparison is made between the HHV-6 virus and other viruses.

D. To explain the finding that the samples of both the mentioned groups showed the presence of HHV-6.

Correct. This answer correctly encapsulates the reason the author make the cited statement.

E. To indicate that there is a chance that the occurrence of multiple sclerosis may increase in the future if the strains of HHV-6 are activated.

Incorrect: Irrelevant. No such likelihood is discussed anywhere in the passage.

3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?


A. Those who possess higher concentrations of HHV-6 in the olfactory bulb are at a high risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. The author gives no information to deduce anything regarding the chances of such people developing the disease.

B. Those who have a sharper sense of smell are at a greater risk of multiple sclerosis.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. The author neither mentions nor indicates towards any such relationship. The sense of smell is mentioned in the last sentence of the passage in a completely different context.

C. The absence of multiple sclerosis in a person does not necessarily indicate an absence of the disease causing virus in that person

Correct. This information can be deduced on the basis of the findings mentioned in the passage and the author’s statement to explain the findings. As per the author it is not uncommon to have dormant reservoirs of the virus. The author draws this statement to explain the findings of the study that showed that samples from both healthy and diseased tissues showed the presence of the virus.

D. Multiple sclerosis, alongwith other neurodegenerative diseases, can have disease causing viruses lying dormant in the human body without any external symptom of the same.

Incorrect: Partial Scope. The passage gives no specific information about the viruses causing other neurodegenerative diseases for us to be able to deduce the following portion of the answer choice :

alongwith other neurodegenerative diseases

E. In the absence of the limbic system, it would be difficult for the HHV-6 virus to reactivate.

Incorrect: Out of Scope. Although the limbic system is described as a place where viruses like to reactivate but the limbic system is only one of many targets for the virus. So, we do not know where else the virus could/would reactivate.
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Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 20:46
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workout wrote:
Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind that were deeply rooted in psychology. Now viruses rank among the environmental factors thought to trigger brain-ravaging diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzeimer’s disease. Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), in particular, has been linked to MS in past studies. Neuroscientists have determined that the virus makes its entry to the human brain through the olfactory pathway, right along with the odors wafting into our nose. The researchers tested samples of brain cells from people with MS and healthy control subjects and found evidence of the virus in the olfactory bulb in both groups. Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common, as is harboring a dormant reservoir of HHV-6, but in people with MS, the virus is active. The virus appears to invade the brain by infecting a type of glial cell called olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which nourish smell-sensing neurons and guide the virus from the olfactory bulb to their targets in the nervous system. These targets include the limbic system, a group of evolutionarily old structures deep in the brain, which is where viruses like to reactivate. The olfactory neurons and their OECs are among the few brain cells known to regenerate throughout our life. This neurogenesis may keep our sense of smell sharp, but at the cost of providing the virus the opportunity to spread.


Notes: NDD: Old thought- Mind disorder(psychlogy), now an environmental factor.
HHV-6 causes MS.
For causing MS, Virus enters thru Nose.

People with MS People without MS
Virus Yes Yes
Virus status Active Dormant

Nasal infection common in MS.
Mechanism of infection- Virus invades OECs(which nourishes smell sense) and OECs guide to targets(such as Limbic system, where virus likes to regenerate) in nervous system.
Sense of smell sharp but at the risk of spread of virus.


1. According to the passage, which of the following is true?


A. The limbic system and the olfactory ensheating cells are one of the many target areas where viruses like to reactivate- No, not one of the, actually only limbic system is where the virus likes to reactivate
B. The regeneration of the OECs is linked with the spread of the HHV-6 virus- Correct-As in notes, more regeneration, more risk!
C. The smell sensing neurons guide the HHV-6 virus to potential targets in the nervous system- No,Smell Sensing virus dont guide, OECs guide!
D. An inactive reservoir of HHV-6 in the body is indicative of the person’s lack of susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases-No, Nowhere mentioned.
E. Viruses like to flourish in deep, humidity ridden areas- No, out of scope



2. Why does the author say “Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common…”?

A. To indicate that it is extremely difficult to stop infection through the nasal passage- No, not mentioned anywhere.
B. To prove that there is a greater likelihood of multiple sclerosis in people who have active strains of virus rather than those who do not-No, out of scope.
C. To illustrate that HHV-6 infects in the same manner as most other viruses do- No, manner in which the virus infects is not what the author intended to show.
D. To explain the finding that the samples of both the mentioned groups showed the presence of HHV-6- Correct, Control group and people with MS both had virus in their nasal passage. thus, author said infection via nasal passage is probably common.
E. To indicate that there is a chance that the occurrence of multiple sclerosis may increase in the future if the strains of HHV-6 are activated.-No, out of scope!



3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

A. Those who possess higher concentrations of HHV-6 in the olfactory bulb are at a high risk of developing multiple sclerosis-No, Concentration of virus is out of scope!
B. Those who have a sharper sense of smell are at a greater risk of multiple sclerosis- No, cant be inferred!
C. The absence of multiple sclerosis in a person does not necessarily indicate an absence of the disease causing virus in that person- Correct, the absence of MS doesnt mean the person doesnt have virus. Remember, the virus may lie dormant in the nasal passage as was the case in control group.
D. Multiple sclerosis, alongwith other neurodegenerative diseases, can have disease causing viruses lying dormant in the human body without any external symptom of the same-No, "alongwith the other NDD" is wrong!
E. In the absence of the limbic system, it would be difficult for the HHV-6 virus to reactivate-No, as per passage "These targets include the limbic system", there are many targets but only limbic system is mentioned in passage. we cant say with surety that in absence of limbic system it would be difficult for virus to reactivate.



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Re: Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 21:02
1
workout wrote:

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions



I will post the explanations here after I see few responses


3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
The below statement from the passage will clearly give us the answer here
"The researchers tested samples of brain cells from people with MS and healthy control subjects
and found evidence of the virus in the olfactory bulb in both groups"
From the above statement we can infer that even in healthy people, the virus can be present.
Hence, choice C stands good.

2. Why does the author say “Infection via the nasal passage is probably quite common…”?
Have a look at the statement just above the yellow text :
"The researchers tested samples of brain cells from people with MS and healthy control subjects
and found evidence of the virus in the olfactory bulb in both groups"
Here, the statement implies that the the virus traces were found in healthy as well as non-healty people.
This leads to the answer choice 'D'.

1. According to the passage, which of the following is true?
I found it touch to answer since choices A,B,and C were close.
However, when you look at the statement in the passage 'The olfactory neurons and their OECs are
among the few brain cells known to regenerate throughout our life. This neurogenesis may keep our sense of smell sharp,
but at the cost of providing the virus the opportunity to spread.',
it is wasy to figure out that the OEC's are known to regenerate throughout our life. Now, this keeps our sense of
smell sharp, leading to the fast spread of the virus. Hence answer choice 'B' fits well.
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Re: Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2018, 09:53
workout wrote:

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions



I will post the explanations here after I see few responses


Could you please explain Q2?....Looks like a function question. Also please suggest a general strategy to answer such questions..
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Re: Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2018, 21:53
pk123 wrote:
workout wrote:

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions



I will post the explanations here after I see few responses


Could you please explain Q2?....Looks like a function question. Also please suggest a general strategy to answer such questions..


pk123

I find it easy to answer function questions when I totally understand the context in which they are used. So, if you are unclear, read again a few lines before and few lines after the given statements. I believe that will help you.
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Re: Neurodegenerative diseases were once considered disorders of the mind &nbs [#permalink] 11 Sep 2018, 21:53
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