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SARS-CoV-2 virus infects neurons and damages brain tissue

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Understanding the full extent of viral invasion is important for treating patients and understanding the potential long-term effects of COVID-19.

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine have recently discovered a way for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to directly infect the central nervous system. The findings also help to better understand how the virus affects cells in the brain, and for the treatment of various types of neurological symptoms associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). May be useful for development.

Published on Experimental Medicine JournalThe study was conducted in an attempt to answer the remaining questions, such as whether the virus could infect neurons and other types of brain cells. Researchers used human brain organoids, a miniature 3D organ that grows from human stem cells, to analyze the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to invade cells.

“Understanding the full picture of viral invasion is essential to the treatment of patients in an attempt to elucidate the long-term effects of COVID-19, which is predicted to be involved in the central nervous system,” said Professor Akiko Iwasaki. .. Said at Yale University School of Medicine.

The findings showed that the virus infected organoid neurons and used them as a means of their own replication. The virus also appeared to replicate itself by promoting the metabolism of infected cells, but the surrounding uninfected neurons died due to reduced oxygen supply.

In addition, the researchers behind the study analyzed the brains of three patients who succumbed to COVID-19 and detected the virus in one of the cortical neurons. The infected area of ​​the brain is associated with ischemic infarction, and reduced blood supply can cause local damage to tissues and cell death.

“Our study clearly shows that neurons can be targeted for SARS-CoV-2 infection with the catastrophic consequences of local ischemia and cell death in the brain,” the study said. Kaya Birgubar, co-author of the program, said. “Our results suggest that neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19 may be associated with these results, leading to a rational approach to the treatment of patients with neuropathy COVID-19. It suggests that it may be useful for. “

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