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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Damage blood vessels of Covid-19 patients’ brains, says research

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City provided samples from 16 of the patients, while the pathology department at the University of Iowa College of Medicine provided the remaining 3 cases.

Damage blood vessels Covid-19 patients’ brains says National Institutes of Health experts, who have repeatedly found signs of damage caused by thinning and leaky brain blood vessels in tissue samples from patients who died soon after developing the disease in an in-depth study of how Covid-19 affects the brain of the patients.

“We found that the brains of patients who contract the infection from SARS-CoV-2 may be susceptible to microvascular blood vessel damage. Our results suggest that this may be caused by the body’s inflammatory response to the virus” said Avindra Nath, M.D., clinical director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the senior author of the study.

“We hope these results will help doctors understand the full spectrum of problems patients may suffer so that we can come up with better treatments.”

Damage blood vessels Covid-19 patients’ brains

Besides which, no signs of SARS-CoV-2 were found in the tissue samples, meaning that the injury was not caused by a direct viral attack on the brain.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, the observations were published as correspondence.

While Covid-19 is mainly a respiratory condition, neurological symptoms such as seizures, delirium, cognitive dysfunction, dizziness, exhaustion, and lack of smell are frequently encountered in patients.

Patients can also experience strokes and other neuropathologies related to the disorder.

Several tests have demonstrated that inflammation and blood vessel damage can be caused by the disease.

The researchers find signs of small levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the brains of certain patients in one of these trials.

Scientists, however, are now seeking to explain how the disorder affects the brain.

In this report, the researchers performed an in-depth analysis of brain biological samples from 19 patients who died between March and July 2020 after suffering Covid-19.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City provided samples from 16 of the patients, while the pathology department at the University of Iowa College of Medicine provided the remaining 3 cases.

Patients died between the ages of 5 and 73. They died after reporting symptoms within a few hours to two months.

There are one or two risk factors for some patients, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Eight of the patients were found dead in public settings or at home. Three more patients collapsed and unexpectedly died.

The researchers initially used a rare, high-powered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, 4 to 10 times more powerful than most MRI scanners, to analyse each patient’s collections of olfactory bulbs and brainstems which proved damage blood vessels Covid-19 patients’ brains.

It is assumed that these areas are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

“We were completely surprised. Originally, we expected to see the damage that is caused by a lack of oxygen. Instead, we saw multifocal areas of damage that is usually associated with strokes and neuroinflammatory diseases,” said Dr Nath.

Eventually, even though they used many approaches to detect genetic material or proteins
from SARS-CoV-2, the researchers saw no evidence of contamination in brain tissue samples.
“So far, our results suggest that the damage we saw may not have been not caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly infecting the brain,” said Dr. Nath.
“In the future, we plan to study how Covid-19 harms the brain’s blood vessels and whether that produces some of the short- and long-term symptoms we see in patients.”


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