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.
SCAPE microscopy, a new 3D imaging technique, allows a greater volume of brain tissue to be viewed in a much less damaging way to networks of living cells.
Study confirms sensory loss associated with taste and smell is strongly linked to early coronavirus infection. Based on the findings, people who report olfactory or taste loss are ten times more likely to have COVID-19 than other infections. Patients reported their sensory loss to be profound rather than mild. Encouragingly, the rate of sensory recovery was high, with patients reporting a return of normal smell and taste function within two to four weeks, which matches the time of disease recovery. Researchers also found people who reported sore throats more often tested negative for COVID-19.
As many as one in three COVID-19 patients report smell loss as an early symptom of the infection. Researchers say the loss of smell could be used as a key clinical indicator of infection in otherwise symptom-free or pre-symptomatic carriers of coronavirus.
The olfactory epithelium may be a hub for neurogenesis.
Delivering a memory-inducing scent to one nostril while a person sleeps helps boost memory retention.