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Study: Novel coronavirus may enter brain via nose

Study: Novel coronavirus may enter brain via nose

The novel coronavirus may enter the brain of people through the nose, according to a study published on Monday that may help explain some of the neurological symptoms observed in COVID-19 patients, and inform diagnosis and measures to prevent infection.

The research, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, noted that SARS-CoV-2 not only affects the respiratory tract but also impacts the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in neurological symptoms such as loss of smell, taste, headache, fatigue and nausea.

Although recent research has described the presence of viral RNA in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, it remains unclear where the virus enters and how it is distributed within the brain.

The researchers from Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany examined the nasopharnyx - the upper part of the throat that connects to the nasal cavity - a likely first site of viral infection and replication, and the brains of 33 patients - 22 males and 11 females - who died with COVID-19.

The median age at the time of death was 71.6 years, and the time from onset of COVID-19 symptoms to death was a median of 31 days, they said. Read More...

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