Scientists in the US have found evidence of damage to brain tissues of patients who died from COVID-19, however, they found no direct link between the damage and the virus. The team of researchers from the National Institute of Health found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus caused certain damages to the brain including thinning of blood vessels and making them leaky. But, they found no signs of the virus in tissue samples, suggesting that the virus itself was not responsible for the damages.
For the purpose of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine the team observed and analyzed tissue samples from 19 patients who lost their lives after contracting the COVID-19 infection between March and July 2020. Out of the 19 samples, 16 were provided by New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, while 3 came from the Department of Pathology at the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine. All the patients were those who had succumbed between a few hours to two months before catching the virus.
“We found that the brains of patients who contract the infection from SARS-CoV-2 may be susceptible to microvascular blood vessel damage. Our results suggest that this may be caused by the body’s inflammatory response to the virus” NIH quoted the study’s senior author Avindra Nath, clinical director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), as saying.
This comes as WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that Long term symptoms of COVID-19 were “really concerning”, Speaking from Geneva during the UN agency’s latest virtual press conference, WHO Director-General revealed that some coronavirus patients were receiving long term symptoms, including damage to major organs and urged governments to ensure that such patients received necessary care. He also took the opportunity to denounce the “herd immunity” saying that the current situation wherein some people faced longer symptoms than others only showed how “morally unconscionable and unfeasible” concept of herd immunity was.