It seems that the long covid has a lot of persistent symptoms, and the one that we’ll be discussing below is pretty mind-blowing.
According to a recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), there may be a connection between COVID-19 and long COVID and impaired sensory neurons.
These neurons are responsible for our sense of smell, taste, touch, pain, and temperature changes. When they are damaged, our senses may be affected.
Interestingly, the study found that infected neurons released viral proteins like the spike protein and nucleocapsid proteins, rather than the virus itself releasing them. It is worth noting that not all neurons were infected.
The lab-made neurons were exposed to the Wuhan, delta, and omicron strains, but only up to 30 percent showed signs of infection, with the omicron variant having the lowest infection rate.
Some doctors suspect that the sensory issues, such as loss or impairment of smell, taste, and hearing, as well as muscle pains, numbness, burning, and electrical shock sensations, seen in long COVID and vaccine-injured patients may be caused by the spike proteins on the COVID-19 virus’ surface. The mRNA and adenovirus vaccines likewise instruct the body to produce spike proteins. According to a study by MIT, this may be the cause of symptoms, as neurologist Dr. Diane Counce explained some new reports.
However, other factors may also contribute to these symptoms, including inflammation. Although inflammation is a common response when immune cells clear out viruses and their proteins, a constant state of inflammation can harm neural function and cause hyperreactivity and damage to neurons.
It is possible for certain patients to experience mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), which causes them to become extremely sensitive to environmental changes. The release of histamine in this condition can lead to neuropathic pain and itching as it irritates the nerves.
Additionally, swelling and mucus production resulting from an allergic response can impact sensory neurons located near the area of histamine release. Another factor that is being increasingly acknowledged as a contributor to this condition is microclotting.
“The nerves form a webbing around the blood vessels … If you have clotting, then you’re not feeding the nerves correctly,” Dr. Counce said, adding that this could cause something close to “infarcts in the nerves.”
When microclotting occurs, it can result in sensory problems that may accompany other symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath.
As a result of these interconnected mechanisms, various therapeutics may need to be prescribed to manage all the different systems affected. Dr. Keith Berkowitz, an internal medicine physician, explains that multiple treatments may be necessary to address these overlapping symptoms.