Scientists have found the first indications that some of the neurological symptoms in long-COVID are caused by the appearance of protein clots in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found similarities between the effects of Covid-19 and the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The researchers warned that the effects of the changes were vague and did not suggest that people could be permanently harmed or that the changes could seriously affect thinking, memory or other functions. If further studies confirm that amyloid clamps contribute to long-covid, drugs developed to combat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s could be reused to treat these debilitating neurological symptoms, the researchers said.
Nick Reynolds of La Trobe University said, “It is possible that current drugs could be used to treat cerebral palsy, which affects a significant proportion of people infected with SARS-CoV-2. Australia. Long covid is characterized by neurological symptoms such as memory loss, sensory disturbances, severe headaches, and in up to 30% of cases, stroke, which can last for months after the infection has subsided.
While there is evidence that the virus can enter the brains of infected people, the exact mechanism that causes these neurological symptoms is unknown. Researchers have discovered that similar amyloid clumps can form from protein fragments in SARS-CoV-2.
They found two protein fragments that easily form amyloids called ORF6 and ORF10 and are highly toxic to laboratory-grown brain cells. Reynolds said the combined findings of the SARS-CoV-2 protein in people with long covid could explain the condition known as “brain fog”.
“These toxic proteins or amyloid assemblies look similar to those found in Alzheimer’s disease and may be responsible for some of the neurological symptoms of long-covid,” Reynolds said. “We suggest that combining the SARS-CoV-2 proteins can cause neurological symptoms in Covid-19 which is called multiple brain fog,” he added.
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