By | PETER DOCKRILL | www.sciencealert.com
As the world struggles with the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists warn that the infection may pose yet another serious threat to human health, in the form of a “silent wave” of neurological consequences that could follow in the wake of the virus.
While the specific risks remain hypothetical at this point, the concerns are very real. In fact, a similar long-term effect was seen after the Spanish Flu pandemic last century.
We already know that COVID-19 has links to brain damage, neurological symptoms, and memory loss. What’s less clear is how the infection can bring about these crippling symptoms, in what volume, and to what ultimate effect.
“Although scientists are still learning how the SARS-CoV-2 virus is able to invade the brain and central nervous system, the fact that it’s getting in there is clear,” says neuroscientist Kevin Barnham from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health in Australia.
“Our best understanding is that the virus can cause insult to brain cells, with potential for neurodegeneration to follow on from there.”