Brain damage in people who die from Covid-19 identical to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
The brains of people who died as a result of Covid-19 show such a degree of inflammation that they are nearly identical to those in patients who passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.
Even though none of the patients reported signs of brain impairment in the runup to their death, researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine and Saarland University in Germany found “profound markers of inflammation” in the patients’ brain tissue, identical to what medics would expect expect to see in the brains of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s deaths.
Not inside the brain
Bafflingly, they did not detect any evidence of the virus itself inside the brain, according to the study, which was published in the journal Nature earlier this week.
Determining whether or not the Coronavirus is present in the brain is important because it can help researchers understand whether or not it is the virus itself — or the body’s immune response to the virus — that is causing the damage.
The researchers pointed out this understanding is critical for making the best decision when it comes to treatment.
The Stanford and Saarland teams examined the brain tissue of eight people who died of Covid-19 and compared this to the brains of 14 people who died of Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.