Home / Science / News /  Long Covid effects and early stages of Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s have similarities: Study

A study, published in the journal 'Nature Communications', suggests that the researchers have found the possible cause of brain fog due to long Covid.

Researchers have found that some of the neurological symptoms in long Covid are caused by the protein clumps in the brain. The protein clumps were similar to those that lead to Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The study also shows similarities between the effects of Covid-19 and the early stages of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

However, the researchers have also cautioned that the implications of these changes were "unclear".

The changes also don't necessarily suggest that people might have lasting damage or that they may profoundly affect thinking, memory, or other functions, they said.

If further research confirms that the amyloid clumps or abnormal protein clumps -- a hallmark of Alzheimer's -- are contributing towards the long Covid, the drugs that are being used to treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may be remodeled to treat these debilitating neurological symptoms.

Nick Reynolds from La Trobe University in Australia has said that the existing drugs could be used to treat the brain fog that affects the Covid patients who go on to experience the long Covid.

He said, "It may be possible that existing drugs may be used to treat the brain fog that affects a significant portion of people who go on to experience long-Covid having been infected with SARS-CoV-2."


In certain cases, Covid-19 patients continue to suffer from some symptoms even after testing negative. This is known as long Covid or post-Covid conditions (PCC). Anyone who has been infected with Covid -- mild illness or no symptoms -- can continue to experience post-Covid affects.

The most common symptoms of the long Covid are memory loss, sensory confusion, severe headaches, and even stroke in up to 30 per cent of cases. The symptoms can continue for months after the Covid infection is over.

While scientists have long known that the Covid virus can enter the brain of infected people, the mechanisms causing these neurological symptoms are still unknown.

The researchers have investigated if similar amyloid clumps or abnormal protein clumps could be formed from fragments of protein from SARS-CoV-2 and have found two such protein fragments that readily form amyloids -- highly toxic to brain cells grown in a lab.

Nick Reynolds said the research of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in people with long Covid may explain "brain fog".

"These toxic clumps of protein, or amyloid assemblies, appear to be similar to those found in Alzheimer's disease and may be responsible for some of the neurological symptoms of long Covid," Reynolds said, adding, "We suggest that aggregates of SARS-CoV-2 proteins may trigger neurological symptoms in Covid-19 that many call brain fog."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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