What brains could teach scientists about the lasting effects of Covid-19

What brains could teach scientists about the lasting effects of Covid-19

Dr Avindra Nath spends her days surrounded by brains.

His goal: to learn all he can about how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, affects brain tissue, potentially leading to long-term symptoms of the virus.

“The involvement of the brain is quite extensive,” said Nath, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The brains he studies come from suddenly deceased Covid-19 patients and have all been donated by family members.

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This is one of many NIH projects looking to understand why some patients experience persistent symptoms, including profound fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, fever, and headaches weeks and months after. their acute infection.

The implications are enormous. It is estimated that 10 to 30 percent of the 28 million cases of Covid-19 in the United States could lead to long-term symptoms. This represents up to 8.4 million people unable to get rid of ongoing physical problems related to the virus.

The 30 brain samples in Nath’s lab come from Covid-19 patients aged 5 to 80. All died at home or in a long-term care facility.

The samples are analyzed using the strongest magnetic resonance …

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