New study by scientists at IIT Jodhpur shares insightful findings on COVID-19 and how it affects an infected person's central nervous system!
Coronavirus impact on health: New study by scientists at IIT Jodhpur shares insightful findings on COVID-19 and how it affects an infected person’s central nervous system! The novel Coronavirus may impact the Central Nervous System of humans or impair smell or taste sense, according to a paper published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience. The nature of Coronavirus is neuroinvasive thus, causing loss of smell as well as taste in the infected person. The paper citing exploration of scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur highlighted that the entire Central Nervous System (CNS) along with the underlying structures in the brain are prone and likely to be affected by the virus. It further said that SARS-CoV-2 interacts with a specific human receptor known as hACE2 (human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2) which has maximum presence in the nasal cavity.
Since the nose and mouth are the entry points for Coronavirus within the human body, the virus may be making its way to the olfactory bulb using the olfactory mucosa neurons. It is to note that the olfactory bulb situated in the forebrain is responsible for the sense of smell. Therefore, an infected person might not be able to smell, making it a symptom for COVID-19. It also suggested that this is likely to expose the deadly virus to the body’s CNS.
According to the study, the CT and MRI scans conducted on the brain of an infected person further revealed a ‘rare encephalopathy called ANE’ which can lead to some sort of brain dysfunction with seizures as well as a mental disorientation. This indicated that presence of ACE2 receptors in CNS and in the brain may be infected by Coronavirus. “The scientists outlined that it may be able to completely destroy the medulla oblongata of the hindbrain, an organ that is responsible for regulating breathing, heart, and blood vessel function,” Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST has been quoted as saying in PIB press release issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology on April 26.
Further, it has been advised that since asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 can cause anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste), people who witness any of this should self-quarantine them and should consult a specialized nephrologist. If a person is facing an inability to taste or smell, it can no longer be ignored and a COVID-19 test is a must.