Although the coronavirus does not affect nerve cells, a Covid-19 disease can impair brain functions. Researchers at the University and University Hospital Basel have now identified an “exaggerated immune response” as the cause. General long-term neuronal damages of a Covid-19 infection are the loss of the senses of smell and taste or even more severe consequences such as persistent concentration deficits up to strokes, the University of Basel announced on Monday.
Researchers led by Gregor Hutter of the Department of Biomedicine have published new findings on these “neuro-covid” phenomena in the Nature Communications journal. The study included 40 Covid 19 patients with varying degrees of neurological symptoms. Their cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma were examined. In addition, brain structures were measured.
Changes in brain structures
According to the release, a connection with an “excessive immune reaction” was found. On the one hand, this resulted in an impairment of the blood-brain barrier. The researchers now suspect that autoantibodies reached the brain through the holey fence and caused damage.
In addition, changes in brain structures had been detected, the report added. Affected persons with severe symptoms had a lower volume in specific brain areas than healthy subjects. The olfactory center, i.e., the olfactory region, was particularly affected.
Based on the study’s findings, the Basel researchers now conclude that ways must be found to recognize the “excessive immune response” at an early stage and slow it down with medication. The goal would be a blood test that could predict severe courses and long-term damage at the beginning of an infection. This would enable drugs to be targeted early on at the points of attack that have now been discovered.
- source: kleinezeitung.at/picture:
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