It has been revealed the fact that COVID is accelerating the zombie cells in the brain, which can cause inflammation and degeneration. Check out more details about this below.
COVID and the zombie cells
The accumulation of senescent or “zombie” cells in the brain is being accelerated due to COVID-19, as per a recent study conducted by the University of Queensland.
These cells naturally accumulate in the brain with age but the virus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, has been found to infect the brain and trigger cellular senescence, which leads to the premature ageing of the brain.
To study this effect, the researchers used brain organoids, which are miniature brains that are artificially grown from human stem cells.
“Senescent cells are known to drive tissue inflammation and degeneration, leaving patients exposed to cognitive impairments like brain fog and memory loss,” lead researcher Julio Aguado said.
Brain fog is a condition in which a person experiences difficulty concentrating, remembering information, and feels lethargic.
According to a recent study published in Science Advances, SARS-CoV-2 can cause the fusion of brain cells, leading to chronic neurological symptoms.
“We discovered COVID-19 causes neurons to undergo a cell fusion process, and once neurons fuse, they don’t die,” said Massimo Hilliard, a professor of molecular and cellular neurobiology at the University of Queensland.
“They either start firing synchronously, or they stop functioning altogether.”
According to researchers, a new mechanism may explain the neuropsychiatric syndromes associated with early-stage COVID-19 and the persistence of symptoms in long Covid.
Even people who have never had COVID-19 but have received doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have also reported symptoms of brain fog, headaches, and memory problems.
Dr. Yuhong Dong, an infectious disease and antiviral drug development expert, explained that since SARS-CoV-2 can cause various types of brain damage, the vaccines, which contain synthetic mRNA based on the virus’s genetic sequence, might have similar effects.
She emphasized the self-repairing ability of the human body and recommended three ways to repair brain injuries, whether from vaccines or COVID-19: controlling the intake of sugary foods, prioritizing high-quality sleep, and maintaining a healthy attitude.
“The human body is a sophisticated, complex, and self-maintaining and repairing system created by God,” she said.
They identified four drugs that can eliminate these zombie cells – navitoclax, ABT-737, fisetin, and a cocktail of dasatinib plus quercetin (D+Q).
Mr. Aguado said the drugs rejuvenated the brain and decreased the chance of neurodegenerative symptoms:
“Long term, we can expect widespread use of these drugs to treat persistent post-acute infection syndromes caused by viral infections like COVID-19,” he said.