How can a viral infection change the color of a person’s eye?

Months after Dr. Ian Crozier thought he had recovered from Ebola, he was stunned to find himself developing intense eye pain and fading vision. The inside of his left eye was still occupied territory, full of live, replicating virus. And one morning during this siege, he saw that his iris had changed from blue to green.

Although such color changes are rare, they do occur from time to time during viral infections, eye doctors say. The changes in hue are almost always permanent.

But in Crozier’s case, his eye color went back to normal as he recovered. Why only one eye was affected and how the changes happened are mysteries. “I’ve been doing what I do for 40 years, and I’ve never seen such a reversibility,” said Dr. C. Stephen Foster, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and the chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution.

 

Obesity tied to graduation gap

Researchers have identified a new problem associated with childhood obesity — failure to finish high school.

A study from Sweden finds that teens who received medical treatment for obesity were far less likely to graduate from upper secondary school than their slimmer peers. The gap in the graduation rate was startling — 56 percent of the obese students finished all 12 years of schooling, compared with 76 percent of their classmates. “The differences are much larger than we predicted,” the study authors said. They presented their results at the European Congress on Obesity meeting in Prague.

 

Sleepwalking hereditary, study says

A new study provides strong support for the notion that the tendency to sleepwalk is hereditary, passed from parent to child through some as-yet-unidentified gene. Compared to children with no family history of sleepwalking, children with one parent who had ever been a sleepwalker were three times more likely to sleepwalk themselves, researchers found. If both parents had a history of sleepwalking, the odds that their child would be a sleepwalker as well rose by a factor of seven.

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