January 31,2013

Say it’s not so: HPV in the Brain

Evidence of the human papilloma virus (HPV) has been found in the brains of children with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a disorder that causes repeated seizures over time. It has various causes, such as head trauma or brain cancer. The type of epilepsy associated with HPV is caused by a brain malformation that develops before birth.

Peter Crino MD, a professor of Neurology at Temple University, noticed that cells taken from the malformed area had similarities to HPV-infected cells in the cervix. So he decided to look for evidence of HPV in those brain cells, and he found it.

Dr Crino and his team aren’t sure how the virus gets into the brain, but their results suggest that an HPV infection in the placenta could be one possible path.

We know that HPV can cross the placenta and infect the fetus. In one study, this happened in over twelve per cent of women with HPV.

To summarize, there’s evidence suggesting a common STI may cause a serious brain disorder in children born to infected women. Dr Crino speculates it happens like this:

A woman with HPV gets pregnant. The HPV passes through the placenta to the fetus. It infects the brain, interfering with normal development. The child is born with a brain malformation, which causes seizures (epilepsy).

This is major news, and I’m wondering – why no headlines about it? There were no press conferences with Dr Crino, and no statements from SIECUS or Planned Parenthood, our leaders in “comprehensive” sexuality education.

There’s a double standard at work: if research suggested that sugary drinks cause fetal malformations, it surely would be announced with alarm by every media outlet.

With sexual health it’s always been different. The negative consequences of sexual license are often ignored or minimized. Young people are led to believe that with condoms and STI testing they’re safe, or safe enough. But it’s not so.

I believe that one day there will be congressional hearings about the persistent whitewashing of STIs, the exaggerated efficacy of condoms, and the endorsement by sex educators of high risk behaviors. Until then, the madness continues.


1. Julie Chen et al. Detection of human papillomavirus in human focal cortical dysplasia type IIB. Annals of Neurology, Volume 72, Issue 6, pages 881–892, December 2012

2. Renato L Rombaldi, et al Transplacental transmission of Human Papillomavirus Virology Journal 2008, 5:106

one comment

  1. Ellen Cavallo - reply

    As Ex.Dir of a Pregnancy Care Center and nurse educator, all I can say is…WOW!! Thanks for the info.

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