Covid can invade the brain and trigger an Alzheimer’s-like neuropathology

Covid can invade the brain and trigger an Alzheimer’s-like neuropathology

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is capable of invading the brain and can trigger neuropathology with effects very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the most widespread form of dementia in the world. To say it is a new study that analyzed the brain tissue of five patients with COVID-19, the infection caused by the pandemic pathogen. The results of the investigation confirm the significant impact that the virus can have on the central nervous system, as revealed by multiple studies conducted to date. It is no coincidence that in many Covid patients there are evident neurological disorders – from the infamous “mental fog” to the loss of smell and taste – while up to a third of survivors of the disease develop brain diseases, as indicated by the authors of the new study.

An American research team led by scientists from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences has determined that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can invade the brain and cause Alzheimer’s-like disease (or worsen it if already present). University of Maryland School of Medicine, who collaborated closely with colleagues from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and the University of California San Diego Department of Neuroscience . The researchers, led by Professor Wei-Bin Shen, a professor at the Baltimore University School of Medicine, came to their conclusions after subjecting the brain tissue of five patients to specific laboratory tests:

Professor Bin Shen and colleagues “hunted” for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins within brain tissues, assuming that neurons express both the ACE-2 receptor (which promotes the infection process by latching the protein S or Spike of the virus) than neuropilin-1 or NRP1, also a facilitator of entry into human cells. The researchers looked for the S or Spike protein and that of the nucleocapsid, revealing them in all five samples at the level of the cerebral cortex. Analyzes of the cortex have shown that the pandemic pathogen induces or amplifies the neuropathology attributable to Alzheimer’s disease by catalyzing the aggregation of beta-amyloid (a “sticky” protein associated with neurodegeneration), the formation of plaques,

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infects mature but not immature neurons “derived inducible pluripotent stem cells from healthy individuals with Alzheimer’s through its ACE2 receptor and neuropilin-1 facilitator,” the scientists write in the abstract of the study.

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