A study based on clinical diagnosis of Covid-19 patients by team of researchers at IIT-Indore stressed on the need to address increasing incidents of neural dysfunctions in infected individuals.
Dr Hem Chandra Jha, corresponding author of the research and faculty at Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering at IIT, Indore said, “The long term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 are very harmful as the virus may enter the brain and cause neurological damages. As the virus primarily attacks lungs and stomach, much attention is not paid on variable neurological manifestations displayed by Covid-19 patients.”
The patients display inflammation of brain and membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain, pointed the study by Dr Hem Chandra Jha, PhD scholars Shweta Jakhmola, Omkar Indari and intern Sayantani Chatterjee.
Researchers said other than meningitis and encephalitis, patients display variable neurological manifestations like reduced ability to taste, smell, vertigo, impaired consciousness, seizures, headache and dizziness.
Based on past reports of virus-associated studies concerning neuronal damage, the authors of the research presented the plausible modes of SARS-CoV-2 entry into the nervous system through the nose, blood stream or through facial or intestinal nerves connected to the brain.
The research also showed that acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy observed in Covid-19 brain is a rare central nervous system complication associated with intracranial cytokine storms.
A cytokine storm is an overproduction of activating compounds (cytokines) produced by the immune cells which in a flu infection often associated with a surge of activated immune cells into the lungs.