NBC News: What brains could teach scientists about the lasting effects of Covid-19?


Dr. Avindra Nath at the National Institutes of Health spends his days surrounded by brains, hoping to shed light on why some people can’t seem to recover. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of the 28 million COVID-19 cases in the United States could lead to long-term symptoms. The 30 brain samples in Nath’s lab come from COVID-19 patients, ages 5 to 80, who died either at home or in a long-term care facility. The samples are analyzed using the strongest MRI machine available for use on the human body. Nath has noticed a frequent presence of a protein called fibrinogen, which normally plays a role in blood clotting. According to Nath, this could be problematic because fibrinogen should not normally be found in the brain. Its presence suggests tiny blood clots in the brain that are decreasing oxygen levels. Brain pathology has become an increasingly critical part of COVID-19 illness, possibly leading to a range of issues from brain fog to stroke in those affected long-term symptoms of the virus. Read the full article here

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