SARS-CoV-2 likely does not directly infect the brain but can still inflict significant neurological damage, according to a new study.
The study suggests that the neurological changes often seen in these patients may result from inflammation triggered by the virus in other parts of the body or in the brain’s blood vessels. It has been published online in the journal Brain.
The study examined the brains of 41 Covid-19 patients who died during hospitalisation. The researchers found no evidence of the virus in the patients’ brain cells. But in every patient they found significant brain pathology.
A lot of areas suffered damage from a lack of oxygen.Some of these were large areas caused by strokes, but most were very small and only detectable with a microscope.
Based on other features, the researchers believe these small areas of hypoxic damage were caused by blood clots that temporarily stopped the supply of oxygen to that area.
Source: Columbia University Irving Medical Center