New studies led by Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an ear, nose, throat specialist, and internationally recognized expert in rhinology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, found that the disease caused by the novel coronavirus might be attacking human brain too.
The research indicates that the virus not only affects the sense of smell for some but also using the olfactory tract as a way to get into the brain. The research was conducted on the basis of reports which shows that people with the disease were subjected to depression and anxiety.
The early analysis found that the most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough, and respiratory problems.
Along the way, physicians reported some people with Covid-19 experiencing mild cold- or flu-like symptoms, ranging from sniffles to fatigue. Now it’s found that coronavirus might attack people’s brains too.
“Results of the research are shocking”, said Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat
Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, associate professor of otolaryngology and director of rhinology, allergy, and anterior skull base surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine said, “It is kind of absurd and ridiculous given how severe and how dire these symptoms are. I would’ve guessed that the symptoms that would be most associated with depressed mood and anxiety would be severe, dire symptoms: shortness of breath, coughing, fever.” The team under Sedaghat found that people were experiencing smell loss early in the disease.
So this symptom can be used as a screening tool, he said, to identify them as possible COVID-19 sufferers who should stay distanced from other people.
According to his studies and researches, about 47% of respondents reported at least several days of depressed mood per week, with 21% reporting depressed mood nearly every day. Nearly 45% reported mild anxiety and 10.5%, severe anxiety. He said that the results of the research are really shocking for him.
There is so much of real-life evidence for his research. Doctors in the United States reported the case of a woman airline worker in her late 50s who was admitted to a hospital after complaining of symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus like fever, cough, and body ache. The tests diagnosed that the woman has COVID-19. But along with those common symptoms, the woman shows a set of many other symptoms like confusion, lethargy, and disorientation.
So doctors prompted her to conduct imaging tests and the test revealed brain damage. Doctors diagnosed her with acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE). ANE is a rare form of brain inflammation usually seen in young children and treated her accordingly. This complication can be characterized by altered mental status and seizures, and often this further leads to profound disability or death. So the experts analyzed that the loss of taste or smell might be an indication of neurological problems like brain damage.