Covid-19 has been a peculiar virus that has its own peculiarities that have piqued as much interest as anosmia, as the loss of smell in people has become a well-known hallmark of the disease. The covid patients tend to lose their sense even when they don’t have a stuffy nose which makes the coffee smell noxious, food taste like cardboard, which occasionally persists even after other symptoms have resolved.
Scientists have now started to unravel the biological mechanism in which the neurons that detect the odour lack the receptors that the virus uses to enter the cells, which prompts the long debate if they can be infected at all.
New research work will be able to shed light on how the Covid-19 virus affects the brain cells that leads to problems like brain fog and also help in explaining the biological mechanism of the symptoms that linger for months or weeks after the initial infection.
Some earlier studies along with new work have helped settle the debate on whether the Covid-19 virus infects the nerve cells that detect odours. Researchers found, it actually does not affect as much but it sure does attack other supporting cells that line the nasal cavity.
The study found that the infected cells shed the virus and die, while the immune cell floods the region to fight the virus. The inflammation wreaks havoc on proteins and the smell receptors of the nerve cells that detect and transmit information about odours.
This process alters the sophisticated organisation of genes in the neurons that short-circuits them.
Covid appears to cause many complications as the immune system responds to infection by flooding the bloodstream with cytokines which is an inflammatory protein that can damage tissue and organs.
The scientist also went on to examine golden hamsters and human tissue specimens from 23 patients that had Covid-19. Scientists tracked the damage to the olfactory systems over time as the hamsters were infected with the original coronavirus.