COVID-19 infection in critical brain regions may accelerate brain aging – Neuroscience News

Summary: The effects of COVID-19 infection on neurological health are becoming clearer. A new study reveals that COVID-19 can predispose people to irreversible neurological conditions, accelerate brain aging, and increase the risk of stroke and brain hemorrhage.

source: Houston Methodist

A new study by Houston Methodist researchers reviews emerging insights and evidence that COVID-19 infection may have both short- and long-term neurological effects.

Key findings include that COVID-19 infection may predispose individuals to develop irreversible neurological conditions, may increase the likelihood of strokes and may increase the chance of permanent brain lesions that can lead to brain haemorrhage.

Led by corresponding authors Joy Mitra, Ph.D., instructor, and Moralidhar L. Heggd, Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery, with the Department of DNA Repair within the Center for Neuronourishment at Houston Methodist Research Institute, the research team describe their findings in an article titled “SARS-CoV- 2 and the central nervous system: emerging insights into bleeding-related neurological consequences and therapeutic considerations” in the journal Aging Research Reviews.

Still a huge burden on our daily lives, a great deal of research has shown that the effects of illness far exceed the actual time of infection. Since the onset of the pandemic, COVID-19 has surpassed the death toll by more than 5.49 million worldwide and more than 307 million confirmed positive cases, with the United States responsible for nearly 90 million of those cases, according to the Our World in Data website. .

COVID-19 is known to invade and infect the brain, among other major organs. While much research has been done to help us understand disease progression, infection, and pathology, there are still many long-term effects that remain unclear, particularly on the brain.

Coronavirus infection can cause long-term and irreversible neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Several brain-imaging studies of COVID-19 victims and survivors have confirmed the formation of microscopic lesions in deeper regions of the brain associated with our cognitive functions and memory.

In this review study, the authors critically evaluated potential chronic neuropathological outcomes in aging and co-morbid populations if a therapeutic intervention was not implemented in a timely manner.

Microbial hemorrhages are emerging neuropathological markers frequently identified in people with chronic stress, depressive disorders, diabetes and age-related comorbidities. Building on their previous findings, the researchers discussed how COVID-19 micro-hemorrhagic lesions can exacerbate DNA damage in infected brain cells, leading to neuronal aging and activating cell death mechanisms, which ultimately affect the microstructure. of the blood vessels in the brain.

These pathological phenomena resemble the hallmarks of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and are likely to exacerbate dementia in advanced stages, as well as cognitive and motor deficits.

Still a huge burden on our daily lives, a great deal of research has shown that the effects of illness far exceed the actual time of infection. The image is in the public domain

The effects of COVID-19 infection on various aspects of the central nervous system are currently being studied. For example, 20-30% of COVID-19 patients report a chronic psychiatric condition known as ‘brain fog’ in which individuals experience symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, forgetting daily activities, difficulty choosing the correct words, and taking longer time The habit of completing a regular task, muddled thought processes and emotional numbness.

The more severe long-term effects analyzed in the Houston Methodist review article include preparations for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cardiovascular disorders due to internal bleeding and coagulation-induced lesions of the part of the brain that regulates the respiratory system. After symptoms of Covid-19 disease appear.

In addition, cell aging is thought to accelerate in COVID-19 patients. A wide range of cellular stresses prevents virus-infected cells from undergoing their normal biological functions and allows them to enter ‘hibernation mode’ or even die completely.

The study also suggests different strategies for improving some of these long-term neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative outcomes, as well as identifying the importance of a “nanoenzyme” regimen in combination with several FDA-approved drugs that may prove successful in combating this. catastrophic disease.

However, due to the ever-evolving nature of the field, associations such as those described in this review show that the battle against COVID-19 is far from over, investigators say, and reinforce the message that getting vaccinated and maintaining proper hygiene are essential in trying to prevent Such consequences are long-term and harmful.

About this COVID-19 and neuroscience research news

author: press office
source: Houston Methodist
Contact: Press Office – Houston Methodist
picture: The image is in the public domain

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“SARS-CoV-2 and the central nervous system: emerging insights into bleeding-related neurological consequences and therapeutic considerations” by Joy Mitra et al. Aging Research Reviews


SARS-CoV-2 and the central nervous system: emerging insights into bleeding-related neurological consequences and therapeutic considerations.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to impact our lives by causing disease and death and poses a threat due to potentially emerging strains. SARS-CoV-2 targets angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) before it enters vital organs in the body, including the brain. Studies have shown the occurrence of systemic inflammation, cellular aging, and multi-organ failure mediated by viral toxicity during periods of infection.

However, prognostic investigations indicate that both acute and long-term neurological complications, including predisposition to irreversible neurodegenerative diseases, can be a serious concern for COVID-19 survivors, especially the elderly.

As emerging studies reveal sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection in different parts of the brain, the potential causes of chronic lesions including microbial and deep brain hemorrhage and the potential for stroke-like disease are increasing, with serious long-term consequences, particularly for individuals. People with neurological diseases and/or age-related conditions.

Our recent studies linking blood degradation products to genome instability, leading to cell aging and thyrotoxicosis, raise the possibility of similar neurovascular events as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In this review, we discuss the neuropathological consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in COVID survivors, focusing on potential hemorrhagic damage to brain cells, its association with aging, and future directions in developing mechanism-guided therapeutic strategies.

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