Scientists see path for coronavirus to invade brain, possibly explaining neurological symptoms

Coronavirus
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

Scientists experimenting in the lab have found that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is capable of infecting two types of brain cells — neurons and astrocytes.

The findings could shed light on a possible reason for the bewildering array of neurological symptoms that follow some COVID-19 survivors even after they recover.

COVID-19 is best known as a respiratory disease, but for many victims, it also triggers an array of problems including memory lapses, fatigue and a certain sluggish, fuzzy feeling often referred to as “brain fog.”

Scientists have been trying to understand why and how a coronavirus infection causes these issues in the brain, said study leader Diana Cruz-Topete, a molecular endocrinologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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