Science

How #Covid Damages The Brain

An incredible amount of research continues into the after effects of Covid-19 on our bodies, including the brain.

University of Huddersfield researchers were among the first to demonstrate how the induction of brain inflammation accounts for neurological damage in COVID19 patients.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology led by the University of Huddersfield’s Dr Mayo Olajide, describes how the spike protein used by the coronavirus to enter human cells can have a similar effect on the brain’s immune cells as it does with the rest of the body.

Dr Olumayokun (Mayo) Olajide Image credit: University of Huddersfield

Dr Olajide who led the research said:

“We are now questioning when the coronavirus has affected the brain, could this pose a risk for neurodegenerative disorders further down the line, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?”

According to Dr Olajide, whilst other research demonstrated the mechanism of why the virus was able to gain access into the brain through the nose, theirs was among the first to demonstrate how the coronavirus activated the brain’s own immune response.

“It may not be multiplying in the brain, but when it gets into the brain, it can actually induce immune responses and this explains some of the trends people have reported when they have been infected such as continued brain fog and memory loss,” he said.

Dr Olajide believes if adequate funding can be achieved the research could prove significant.

“The thing with COVID research is so many researchers speculate but less actually carry out the experiments needed to prove their research because it takes such a long time to complete.”

Dr Olajide is a Reader within the University’s Department of Pharmacy in the School of Applied Sciences. His academic career includes a post as a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Munich. His PhD was awarded from the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria, after an investigation of the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.