Coronavirus can affect brain function

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While the coronavirus does not affect nerve cells, Covid-19 disease can affect brain function. Researchers from the university and the University Hospital Basel have now identified an “excessive immune response” as the cause. Known neuronal long-term damage from a Covid 19 infection is the loss of the sense of smell and taste or even more serious consequences such as persistent loss of concentration and strokes, the University of Basel announced on Monday.

Researchers led by Gregor Hutter of the Department of Biomedicine have now published new findings on these “Neuro-Covid” phenomena in the journal “Nature Communications”. The study included 40 Covid-19 patients with varying degrees of neurological symptoms. Their cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma were examined. In addition, the brain structures were measured.

According to the broadcast, a connection has been found with an “excessive immune response”. On the one hand, this resulted in an impairment of the blood-brain barrier. The researchers now suspect that autoantibodies have entered the brain through the perforated barrier and caused damage there.

The rich area in particular is often affected
In addition, changes in brain structures were found, it said. Those with severe symptoms had lower volume in specific areas of the brain compared to healthy subjects. The olfactory center, ie the olfactory area, was particularly affected.

Medications can reduce long-term effects
Based on the findings of the study, the Basel researchers now conclude that ways must be found to detect the “excessive immune response” early and to inhibit it with medication. The goal would be a blood test that could predict severe progression and long-term damage from the onset of an infection. This allows drugs to be targeted early and specifically to the attack points that have now been discovered.

Source: Krone

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