A new study has shown that the negative effect of Zika virus in adults is similar to that experienced in the newborns.

The study has been published in Cell Stem Cell on Aug. 18, claiming to be the first research on the effect of Zika on an adult brain. According to the report, the infection can have “wreak havoc” impact on the brains of adults and lead to major long-lasting damage. The researchers have gone behind the already established facts on the effect of the infection on pregnant women.

Where previous studies only claimed the cause of microcephaly in newborns because of transmission of the virus from children, the latest study overthrew the limitation of the effect. Besides microcephaly, a recent study focusing on the same niche found that not only the development of the newbie’s brain is affected by Zika but under arthrogryposis, the joints of the babies are also damaged.

The new study has shifted the focus from the effect of the virus on only newborns to adults. It studied the impact of the infection on mice following which the researchers established the fact that the effect to can be even more adverse in other adults. The research showed that Zika virus attacks immature cells in the adult brain. Those cells, according to The Independent, are meant for learning and memory purposes.

The damage to the said cells has disastrous effects on adults, who suffer symptoms that are normally experienced by people suffering from Alzheimer. “Based on our findings, getting infected with Zika as an adult may not be as innocuous as people think,” co-author Joseph Gleeson said.

Another member of La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology in California, USA, Sujan Shresta, said that the effect of Zika virus on an adult brain is quite adverse. “Zika can clearly enter the brain of adults and can wreak havoc. But it’s a complex disease – it’s catastrophic for early brain development, yet the majority of adults who are infected with Zika rarely show detectable symptoms,” she said as quoted by KSLA.

“Its effect on the adult brain may be more subtle, and now we know what to look for.”