Penetrates directly into the brain: the coronavirus can infect the nervous system and provoke a number of complications

Infection with coronavirus is not limited to the infection of the respiratory organs. As shown by practical investigations, a significant number of patients, the virus infects the nervous system. About it writes BBC.

Проникает напрямую в мозг: коронавирус может поражать нервную систему и провоцировать ряд осложнений

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The mechanism of its effects on nerve cells is not yet understood, but scientists do not doubt that some kind of connection there is a temporary loss of taste or smell were recognized by specific symptoms Covid-19 in mid-March.

In addition, the nasopharynx, the virus is able to penetrate directly into the brain, and this in turn can cause a number of complications, violating the normal operation of almost any organ.

The list of possible concomitant diseases is huge: from problems with the digestion and blockage of the vessels to the heart failure and encephalitis.

The many faces of the virus

After four months from the beginning of the epidemic, scientists still know very little about the calling the disease the virus SARS-CoV-2 and its effect on the human body.

The overall picture of infection develops bit by bit, from hundreds of articles in scientific journals, where doctors from around the world share their experience in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

The result is a growing list of possible symptoms Covid-19 (they have more than a dozen), and with it our understanding of what other bodies able to affect the virus and which complications may result in disease in addition to pneumonia.

Often doctors describe disorders of the nervous system. Two studies in France and in China — have come to the conclusion that the neurological symptoms in one form or another are experiencing more than a third of infected.

However, the overall new infection differs much more versatile and even individual approach.

The list of complications described Covid-19, with which physicians have ever encountered, in practice, there are diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and heart problems, and blood clotting.

But the nervous system, the virus can strike very different — it is not just about a temporary denial of feelings.

In particular, as adverse events Covid-19 described several cases of encephalitis (brain inflammation) and Guillain-Barre syndrome: the patient’s immune system begins to attack its own nerve cells, leading to muscle weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis.

American doctors are alarmed at reports that only in new York for two weeks from coronavirus of patients there were five cases a massive stroke — and in relatively young people (up to 50 years), without other pronounced symptoms Covid-19.

According to preliminary data, as a side effect of inflammation coronavirus provoked in them the formation of blood clots in major blood vessels — which ultimately led to acute violation of cerebral circulation.

In General, however, neurological disorders are still gravely ill patients. In such cases, these symptoms sometimes remain even after patient’s recovery from Covid-19.

Why complications are different?

Disrupt the nervous system, the virus can both indirectly, through excessive activation of the immune system (so-called cytokine storm) and directly. It was revealed in the autopsy of the bodies from Covid-19.

Viral particles of the victim were discovered including in the brain. There is a version that the infection comes from the respiratory tract via the olfactory receptors in the nose.

This is not some unique ability of the novel coronavirus. A similar infection of the brain can cause several viruses, including influenza and measles — which also sometimes leads to neurological diseases, albeit rarely.

However, in the case of Covid-19 the situation is slightly more complicated. First, the number of infected has already exceeded 3 million — and therefore even a rare occasions together is a lot. And secondly, if the virus got into the brain, further infection is almost inevitable: on the surface of brain cells is present in the same membrane receptor ACE2, through which the virus easily penetrates inside, causing inflammation.

The same receptor exist in the cells lining the inner surface of blood vessels — therefore, in severe cases, the virus erupts from the respiratory organs into the General circulation. The result of thrombotic complications occur in almost every third patient coronavirus pneumonia.

With blood the virus could land in any part of the body, including the brain. However, according to the latest data, almost half of all those infected carry Covid-19 without any symptoms.

Trying to figure out why some people the disease is completely invisible, and the other leads to such tragic consequences in Britain conducted a study of several thousand pairs of identical twins.

According to preliminary data, the severity of infection, its many symptoms and perhaps the very possibility of infection is quite dependent on genetic factors, that is, of heredity.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

  • Doctors in the US and China noted that among those infected has increased dramatically the number of people with kidney failure. As a result, the hospitals are already visible acute shortage of dialysis machines (“artificial kidney”), as well as medical staff who know how to handle such patients, not to mention necessary medications.


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