According to recent American research, Covid-19 may lead to brain changes common in Alzheimer’s disease. A team of scientists said has identified the mechanism by which the impairments may be caused.
Cases of cognitive disorders like dementia are increasingly reported as a complication of the dangerous Sars-Cov-2 virus that causes Covid-19, researchers of Cleveland Clinic have revealed the news.
“Reports of neurological conditions in covid-19 patients, and “long hauler” patients who have symptoms that persist after the infection clears are becoming more common and the effects may last longer,” said the writers of the research, which was issued in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy.
The researchers aimed to uncover the mechanism responsible for brain-related complications such as delirium and loss of taste and smell found in coronavirus patients. To discover the relation, they compared on a molecular level the host genes of Covid-19 and those that lead to neurological disorders.
First, the researchers collected both covid patients and people who have Alzheimer’s disease. After managing both the disorders, researchers used artificial intelligence to measure the proximity between the two. They also analyzed genetic factors that may allow the new virus to infect brain tissues and cells, identifying significant network-based relationships between covid and Alzheimer’s.
The researchers concluded that Alzheimer’s patients had decreased antiviral genes, so they are almost defenseless against the virus.
Although the researchers have found little evidence that the virus affects the brain directly, they have found a close relationship between the coronavirus and genes/proteins related to various neurological diseases, most notably Alzheimer’s, pointing to the ways by which Covid-19 can lead to Alzheimer’s disease-like dementia.
Now that the researchers have found overlap between Covid-19 and brain disease like Alzheimer’s, the research will further look at the processes through which the novel coronavirus can lead to cognitive disorders and how this may be prevented. ” Identifying the causes that lead to neurological problems and are related to Covid-19, can prove fruitful for developing effective preventive and therapeutic strategies to address the surge in neurocognitive disorders that can be expected in near future,” Feixiong Cheng, the study leader, said.
Previous studies have confirmed brain affecting symptoms in covid-19 patients and others who have been suffering from other coronavirus diseases, said Cleveland researchers.
One of the five patients who have recovered from severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars-CoV-1) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have reported memory impairments. In contrast, other patients suffering from novel coronavirus have experienced inattention, disorientation, and confusion.
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