epidemic 5082507 640

New Study Suggests Parts of COVID Virus Remain in Brain

24 Apr, 2023 F.J. Thomas

epidemic 5082507 640

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Some studies have shown that 7 percent of workers who have filed COVID-19 claims received treatment for long COVID. Overall, estimates from this past year suggest that long COVID accounted for around 15 percent of unfilled jobs. Additionally, of those workers that have had long COVID and are still working, around 25.9 percent require adjusted or reduced work hours due to symptoms.

According to the CDC, symptoms of long COVID include joint or muscle pain, depression or anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and cognitive issues such as brain fog. One study that examined lumbar spinal fluid suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 virus triggers an inflammatory autoimmune response that causes brain fog, as well as other conditions.

Some studies have shown that around 22 percent of those with long COVID report cognitive symptoms such as problems with memory and thought processes. In yet another recent study, German researchers studying brain tissue of animals and patients that died from other causes, have found that part of the virus known as the spike protein stays in the brain long after the virus has left. The results of the study suggest that the fragments of the virus accumulate in the brain and trigger inflammation.

Traveling in blood that circulates throughout the entire body, the researchers speculate that the spike protein can stay inside the skull bone marrow via tiny openings or niches. The spike protein also permeates the thin layer of cells between the skull and the brain, known as meninges. From there, the researchers believe that the spike protein infiltrates the brain tissue itself. The researchers also detected the spike protein in the brain parenchyma, which is a functional part of the brain that contains two types of brain cells that control cognition and movement.

What is interesting is that the researchers found SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA in some of the brains that they studied but not others. Researchers speculate that the whole virus itself does not need to be present to trigger inflammatory issues such as brain fog. Additionally the researchers noted that the COVID virus changed how some proteins act, such as those that are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Due to the gap of the presence of the spike protein compared to the time of COVID infection, the spike protein’s persistence may contribute directly to long term neurological issues.

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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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