Scientists had previously feared that the virus could be the cause of various forms of brain damage among patients – including inflammation of the brain and diseases such as encephalopathies with symptoms including confusion, brain fog and delirium.
Researchers at Yale University claim they have evidence to suggest that the SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, could directly infect brain cells called neurons.
Scientists in the USA have been studying the brains of dead Covid-19 victims and have discovered evidence the virus can hijack nurons in the brain to replicate itself – and may cause strokes and inflammation as a consequence
Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, told Live Science: “We are actively looking at more patient tissues to be able to find how frequently such brain infections occur … and what symptoms correlate with infection of which areas of the brain.”
Coronavirus may be able to hijack brain cells, according to new research by scientists.
So far, there has been little evidence that the virus could be directly responsible for such brain conditions, but now scientists say they have discovered evidence of a link.
Looking at infected brain cells under a microscope, the scientists were able to witness coronavirus particles “budding” with the neurons – and using them to replicate itself.
Scientists in the US have been dissecting brains of patients who died of Covid-19 to further their research – while also cross referencing evidence collated from tissue recovered from tests on mice.
The report went on to explain that scientists are yet to determine exactly how the virus enters the brain and whether there can be an effective defence against it.
The scientists then discovered that these infected cells would cause “metabolic changes” in other neurons nearby that were not infected, which subsequently died off.
The coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of last year.
The researchers discovered while dissecting the brains of dead Covid-19 victims that SARS-CoV-2 was present and had infected some neurons in the brains.
It has gone on to wreak havoc around the world, with a death toll that surpasses more than 1million deaths.
It has also battered the global economy, after lockdown forces businesses around the world to shut.