According to a recent study conducted by the researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, SARS-CoV-2 may infect the nervous system and can trigger various neurological symptoms, including dizziness, confusion, stroke, and coma.
The study kept 19 COVID-infected individuals under observation and had followed up with their progress report. The participants had contracted the virus last year and had developed neurological symptoms, ranging from delirium to coma.
Eight individuals, who volunteered in the study experienced an ‘altered mental status’ and eight also had headaches as a result of the infection.
The researchers collected samples of their cerebrospinal fluid, which is known to protect the brain and the spine. It was later found that the samples contained excessive amounts of proteins which are linked to impaired brain functions.
Additionally, according to the research, higher-than-normal levels of neurofilament light (NfL) – a key biomarker for disease – were seen in two-thirds of patients (63 per cent).
According to the lead author of the study, Dr Johan Virhammar, ‘We are now investigating the long-term effects in these patients, primarily through samples of blood and cerebrospinal fluid stored in Uppsala Biobank”. “This unique sample collection is the basis for several ongoing and planned studies that can help us understand the mechanisms behind the neurological complications of Covid-19,” he added.