Reye's Syndrome - Causes

The cause of Reye's syndrome is not known. What researchers do know is that the disorder usually appears after a viral infection in the upper respiratory (breathing) system.

Acetylsalicylic acid:
The chemical name for the primary compound from which aspirin is made. Shorthand terms for acetylsalicylic acid include acetylsalicylate, salicylic acid, and salicylate.
An infection of the brain, also known as "brain fever."
Chemicals present in all cells that make possible the biological reactions needed to keep a cell alive.
Deep, heavy breathing.

One important fact researchers have discovered is the role of aspirin in Reye's syndrome. They have learned that people who take aspirin to treat the viral infection are at greater risk for Reye's syndrome. For that reason, aspirin is no longer recommended for children under the age of nineteen who have a fever.

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