Revealed the cause of brain fog due to COVID-19
Scientists at La Trobe University in Australia have uncovered the cause of neurological conditions seen in long-term COVID-19 patients, such as brain fog. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Experts have identified similarities between the health effects of coronavirus infection and the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Symptoms associated with long-term COVID-19 may be caused by nerve-toxic amyloid accumulations in the brain, which are formed from protein fragments (peptides) of the coronavirus – ORF6 and ORF10.
It is likely that amyloid plaques are present in the central nervous system (CNS) of patients with COVID-19. The breakdown-resistant structure of amyloids leads to their continued presence in the CNS after infection, which may partly explain the persistent neurological symptoms of COVID-19. These clusters are very similar to those associated with the development of dementia, but scientists note that it is not yet clear whether they trigger slowly progressive brain damage.
If further research confirms that amyloid accumulation contributes to long-term COVID-19, then drugs developed to fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases could be used to treat neurological symptoms.
Protracted COVID-19 is characterized by neurological symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, severe headaches and even stroke in 30 percent of cases. This condition may persist for several months after recovery from the infection. While there is evidence that the virus can enter the brains of infected people, the exact mechanisms that cause these neurological symptoms are unknown.