The covid-19 virus gets into the brain – what does it do there?
We now know that covid-19 can cause neurological symptoms, ranging from brain fog and headaches to strokes. Research is beginning to reveal how this happens and hint at better treatments
25 January 2023
From the first weeks of the covid-19 pandemic, it has been clear that the disease often causes neurological symptoms – ranging from headaches and brain fog to strokes and paralysis. Sometimes, the symptoms are short-lived; sometimes, they persist as part of long covid. We are now getting a clearer picture of covid-19’s neurological symptoms and how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus indirectly affects the brain, pointing the way to potential treatments.
Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that the virus can sometimes …
Source link The novel coronavirus, more widely known as Covid-19, is a deadly diseases that has been ravaging the world since its discovery in late 2019. It has become increasingly clear that the virus is more than just a respiratory infection, but can affect other parts of the body as well as the brain. Evidence is mounting that the virus can enter the brain and cause lasting neurological damage, so it is important to understand what it does once it gets there.
Recent research has indicated that the virus can enter the central nervous system and affect brain cells. Specifically, the virus is known to attach to the ACE2 receptor found on the surfaces of glial cells, the cells which make up the brain’s protective layers called the glia.
Once these cells become infected, some of their function is impaired, leading to potentially serious neurological symptoms such as poor blood supply to the brain, inflammation and damage to nerve cells. It also appears to increase the risk of both stroke and dementia.
In addition to the physical damage that the virus can do, it is also believed to be responsible for psychological effects. Some researchers have linked Covid-19 to psychiatric symptoms, including depression, anxiety and changes in personality. These effects may last long after the virus has left the body, so mental health care should be considered in patients who have had the virus.
It is still too early to draw any firm conclusions about the effects of the virus on the brain, but it is clear that it can cause both physical and psychological damage. Therefore, it is important to monitor patients who have been infected with Covid-19 for any potential neurological symptoms. With more research and better medical treatments, we can hope to mitigate the damage that the virus causes to the brain and central nervous system.