Sars-CoV-2: What the coronavirus does to the brain

Sars-CoV-2: What the coronavirus does to the brain

However, there is still no consensus on what exactly happens when Sars-CoV-2 invades the brain. Walter J., director of the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. Korochetz said in a separate SFN 2021 press event that the coronavirus actually infects neurons has not yet been conclusively proven. Or dying cells of the mucous membrane, which also tear neighboring neurons into the abyss – all this has already been suggested by experts as an explanation.

Where does Sars-CoV-2 go in the brain?

It also remains to be clarified where the virus travels to the brain. John H. Morrison, professor of neurology at the University of California and director of the Primate Research Center at Davis School of Medicine, studies how the virus spreads in the brain using rhesus monkeys. In one study, he and his colleagues infected rhesus monkeys with Sars-CoV-2—some of which suffered from diabetes. After a week, they found the virus’s protein and genetic material in different regions of the cerebral cortex, especially in animals with diabetes. The team also found that inflammation in the olfactory cortex occurred at the same time as the neurons were dying. Morrison now suspects that the neurological symptoms of COVID-19 begin with the virus gaining access through the olfactory system, attacking other nerve cells, and spreading to other areas of the brain.

In diabetic monkeys, the virus was also found in the so-called entorhinal cortex, which also plays an important role in Alzheimer’s disease. If the virus settles there, it could be an explanation for mild cognitive impairment and dementia in Covid sufferers.

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altered brain activity due to covid-19

EEG measurements carried out at several Canadian research institutions have shown that even light courses can alter brain activity. Scientists screened 42 people who tested positive and then quarantined them at home. The comparison group consisted of 14 participants who had flu-like symptoms but no positive COVID-19 test results.

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