Infection of non-neuronal supporting cells in the nose and forebrain may be responsible for the olfactory problems associated with COVID-19. Findings suggest olfactory sensory neurons are not vulnerable to coronavirus infection as they do not express ACE2.
Older adults with a higher ability to process sensations, including vision, olfaction, hearing, and touch, had half the risk of being diagnosed with cognitive decline than their peers who were less capable at sensory processing tasks.
Roughly 50% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 experience neurological symptoms including headaches, dizziness, smell and taste disorders, and stroke, a new study reports. Coronavirus may affect the entire nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and muscles. Neurological symptoms of COVID-19 may appear before the fever and cough commonly associated with infection.
Researchers have developed a sniff test that can detect which patients in a vegetative state following a TBI will regain consciousness.
ACE2 and TMPRSS2, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry, are produced in cells in the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection. The findings may explain why people with coronavirus often describe the loss of the sense of smell as a symptom of the virus.
A simple smell test could help doctors to identify which patients in a vegetative state will recover. 100% of patients in a vegetative state who reacted to the sniff test went on to regain consciousness. 91% of those were still alive three years post-injury.
Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus affects the brain, in addition to the lungs. Researchers are examining the threat COVID-19 posses to long term brain health. They speculate maternal inflammation could lead to an increased risk of autism-like behaviors and neurodevelopment deficits in children born to mothers diagnosed with coronavirus. Other studies are exploring how the virus may spread in the nervous system via synaptic transmission.
COVID-19 patients who reported smell loss as a symptom of their infection are ten times less likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus than those who do not report anosmia.