Covid-19 patients are likely to develop a severe inflammatory response in the central nervous system, affecting immune cells around the vascular system and brain tissue.
The new finding was mentioned in a study held by experts at the Freiburg University Medical Center, Germany and the Cluster of Excellence CIBSS.
One of the lead authors Henrike Salié wrote on the university website that the extent of inflammation found was surprising. The researchers had already found enough evidence of the central nervous system's involvement in the disease.
Another lead author Dr Marius Schwabenland clarified that the number of microglial nodules detected in the Covid-19 patients' brains is not usually found in a healthy brain. Microglial nodules are a phenomenon in which perineuronal (structures responsible for maintaining activity in the brain) aggravation is observed.
The researchers used an innovative method to determine the different cell types and find virus-infected cells. The spatial interaction between the neurons is a previously unseen detail.
Dr Marco Prinz said that the inflammatory response caused by Covid-19 is unique and considerably different from other inflammatory brain diseases. He added that the evidence suggests that the brain's immune response is severely disturbed.
The team was led by Professors Dr Marco Prinz and Dr Bertram Bengsch. The results are published in the journal Immunity.