Coronavirus ‘attacks brain cells to make copies of itself’, new research claims

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Coronavirus can attack brain cells to make copies of itself, a shock new study has claimed.

The deadly disease can cause delirium and confusion as it directly invades the body's central nervous system, according to research conducted at the prestigious Yale University in the US.

Akiko Iwasaki, the study's lead researcher, said: "If the brain does become infected, it could have a lethal consequence.

The research has not yet been peer-reviewed but it concluded "neuroinvasion, but not respiratory infection, is associated with mortality".

The new findings have been published online at BioRXiv, an internet biology portal.

It concludes coronavirus invades brain cells then starves neighbouring cells of oxygen as the virus directly invades the central nervous system.

Doctors have long observed that Covid-19 attacks various organ systems within the body as patients have presented with a range of respiratory problems, from coughing to shortness of breath.

They have also reported muscle aches, chest pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea.

But more than 300 studies have found patients present with neurological symptoms from headaches and loss of smell to seizures and the inability to speak.

Many scientists believe Covid-19 causes respiratory failure and death not through damage to the lungs, but through damage to the brain.

The new study is one of the first to provide evidence of the effects of the virus on the brain, which experts have mostly had to deduce through anecdotal evidence like patient symptoms.

Scientists estimate that about half of all patients diagnosed with coronavirus experience neurological symptoms – but there is still some uncertainty on how the virus infects the brain.

  • Coronavirus

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