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My question is in regards to a fungal infection, but I am open to learning about viral or bacterial infections. That being said, is it possible that a fungus/virus/etc could target a specific area of the brain? For example, causing swelling in specifically the amygdala, or attacking neurons only the prefrontal cortex. My knowledge of neuroscience is limited, so I was wondering if there are proteins that only occur in some areas, or differing levels of extracellular ion concentrations that an infectious agent could use to localize an attack on the brain in a way that was beneficial for the disease to spread.

I'm trying to see if there is a way that a fungal infection could attack the amygdala and/or prefrontal cortex in order to induce aggression in a victim and cause it to spread faster.

Any help or additional input is appreciated.

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There are many variation in terms of proteins or peptides across the cortex, as well as structurally (layers etc), and how it is connected to the rest of the body (axonal projections, blood vessels, etc) but basically all areas are constituted of the same basic building blocks. So most viruses will tend to affect some areas more, but I don't think an infection could ever be targeted that accurately to a specific area (let's say affect Broca's area and cause a very specific aphasia). For example rabies travels back to the brain from muscles, so it will reach the primary motor cortex first. But then it will diffuse from there. This is even more true for bacterial infections which as far as I know don't even target neurons specifically. Usually a bacterial infection will start somewhere else like an open wound, teeth or the ears. I don't think a bacteria could jump directly to the brain (I might be wrong). For example when a syphilitic infection reach the neurosyphilis stage, it has already propagated to most of the body. The neurosyphilis tends to affect frontal and parietal lobes first but that's far from an accurate targeting. I believe fungal infections are more similar to bacterial infections and don't tend to target neurons specifically.

This is not my area of expertise so if anyone with better knowledge cares to answer I would be interested as well.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679988/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosyphilis

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