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Hep C travels to the brain

I’m 66 and have had Hep C over 40 years. I’m now cured with Epclusa and 3 months post treatment. I’ve had severe fatigue and anxiety issues for 40 years. I’ve read Hep C has been found in the brain. It seems the direct acting antivirals do not break the blood brain barrier. Does that mean Epclusa cannot eliminate the virus within my nervous system and brain? I’m thinking I’ll have to live with my symptoms if that’s the case.

Has anyone with severe fatigue gotten better after treatment?

Thanks!

  1. Hi , thank you for sharing your question with us–I understand your concern. Have you shared your concerns with your doctor about hep C and the brain? While I am aware about brain fog caused by hep C, I was unaware of the possibility of HCV infection and the brain. In looking into this, I found <a href ="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19130196/" target="no_blank">one study from 2008</a> that mentions:


    "Several studies detected HCV in brain samples or cerebro-spinal fluid. Interestingly, viral sequences in the brain often differed from those in the liver, but were closely related to those found in lymphoid tissue. Therefore, the Trojan horse hypothesis emerged: HCV-infected mononuclear blood cells enter the brain, enabling the virus to reside within the brain (probably in microglia) and to infect brain cells, especially astrocytes."


    A more <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13365-017-0533-0". target="no_blank">recent study from 2017</a> had found that "findings suggest that a subgroup of HCV+ patients experienced improvements in cognitive functioning following eradication of HCV, which appears related to positive changes in white matter integrity. Future research should examine whether any additional improvements in neurocognition and white matter integrity among SVRs occur with longer follow-up periods."


    Still, the full effects of how hep C affects the brain aren't fully clear in current research. I'm interested in hearing from other community members too, who have had treatment and have also experienced fatigue and cognitive symptoms.


    I hope that some of the above information is helpful.


    -Matt (Community Manager)

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