In critical areas of the brain, infection with COVID-19 can cause rapid brain aging

Summary: The impact of COVID-19 infection on neurological health is becoming clear. A new study shows that COVID-19 can cause irreversible neurological conditions in people, accelerate the aging of the brain and increase the risk of stroke and brain bleeding.

A source: Houston Methodist

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

Key findings include that COVID-19 infections can predispose people to the development of irreversible neurological conditions, increase the likelihood of stroke, and increase the likelihood of permanent brain damage that can lead to brain hemorrhage.

Corresponding authors Joy Mitra, Ph.D., instructor, and Muralidhar L. Hegde, Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery with the DNA Repair Division of the Neuroregeneration Center at Houston Methodist Research Institute, write in the research group’s journal, “SARS-CoV-2 and the Central Nervous System: Blood Emerging insights into transfusion-related neurologic sequelae and therapeutic considerations,” described their findings in their article. Aging Studies.

Still a huge burden on our daily lives, many studies show that the impact of the disease goes far beyond the current time of infection. Since the start of the pandemic, the global death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 5.49 million and there have been more than 307 million confirmed positive cases, nearly 90 million of which are in the United States, according to the website Our World in Data.

It is known that COVID-19 enters and infects the brain, among other major organs. Although much research has been done to help understand the evolution, infection, and pathology of the disease, much remains unclear about the long-term effects, particularly the effects on the brain.

The coronavirus infection can cause long-term and irreversible neurodegenerative diseases, especially in the elderly and vulnerable populations. Several brain imaging studies of COVID-19 victims and survivors have confirmed the formation of microvessels in deeper areas of the brain related to our cognitive and memory functions.

In this review study, the researchers critically evaluated the possible chronic neuropathological consequences of aging and accompanying populations if timely treatment interventions are not implemented.

Microbes are emerging neuropathological symptoms observed in people suffering from chronic stress, depression, diabetes and age-related diseases. Based on their previous findings, the researchers explored how microhemorrhagic lesions caused by COVID-19 may increase DNA damage in brain cells, resulting in the activation of neuronal aging and cell death mechanisms, which ultimately affect the microstructure of the brain—the vasculature.

These pathological manifestations mimic the symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and may exacerbate advanced-stage dementia as well as cognitive and motor deficits.

Still a huge burden on our daily lives, many studies show that the effects of the disease go far beyond the current time of infection. 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 people with COVID-19 report a long-lasting psychological condition called “brain fog,” in which people suffer from symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness of daily activities, difficulty choosing the right words, and taking longer. taking longer than usual to complete a routine task, disorientation of thought processes, and emotional numbness.

More severe long-term effects analyzed in a Houston Methodist review article include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cardiovascular disease from damage caused by internal bleeding and blood clots in the part of the brain that regulates our breathing. , after symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, cellular aging is accelerated in COVID-19 patients. A host of cellular stressors interfere with infected cells, allowing them to go into “hibernation” or even die completely from their normal biological functions.

The study also suggests different strategies to ameliorate some of these long-term neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative outcomes, and highlights the importance of combining the “nanozyme” therapeutic regimen with various FDA-approved drugs. catastrophic illness.

However, given the ever-evolving nature of this field, the associations described in this review suggest that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over, the investigators say, and reinforce the message that getting vaccinated and maintaining good hygiene are important. trying to avoid such long-term and harmful consequences.

This is about COVID-19 and neuroscience research news

Author: Press service
A source: Houston Methodist
The connection: Press Service – Houston Methodist
Photo: Image is in the public domain

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Original research: Open access.
Joy Mitra et al. Aging Studies


Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 and the central nervous system: new insights into hemorrhage-related neurological sequelae 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 widespread illness and death, and poses a threat due to the potential for strains to emerge. SARS-CoV-2 targets angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) before entering the body’s vital organs, including the brain. Studies have shown that during periods of infection, systemic inflammation, cellular senescence, and viral toxicity cause multi-organ failure.

However, prognostic studies suggest that acute and long-term neurological complications, including susceptibility to irreversible neurodegenerative diseases, may be a significant concern for survivors of COVID-19, particularly in the elderly population.

Studies show the foci of SARS-CoV-2 infection in different parts of the brain, the potential causes of chronicity, including microcandidres in the brain and deep brain, and the likelihood of pathologies such as stroke, especially the long-term consequences for individuals. with neuropathological and/or age-related diseases.

Our recent studies linking blood degradation products to genome-vascular instability, leading to cellular senescence and ferroptosis, raise the possibility that similar neuroneuronal events occur 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 possible hemorrhagic damage in brain cells, its association with aging, and future directions for the development of mechanism-guided therapeutic strategies.

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