Coronavirus Could Infect the Brain: Scientists

A study from Johns Hopkins University shows the virus could infect cultured brain cell balls.

    2020/06/17

NSFW    BALTIMORE — A new study from Johns Hopkins University suggests the coronavirus may infect the brain and replicate in brain cells.

The Financial Times reports the journal Altex is in the process of reviewing this paper.

Scientists used tiny balls of cultured brain tissue called mini-brains to simulate the virus's effect on human brain tissue.

The mini-brains called Brainsphere are utilized for pharmaceutical testing and virus research.

Microscopy of the mini-brains shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can infect neurons and multiply tenfold in three days.

Since mini-brains do not have the blood-brain barrier found in real brains, it is not known if the virus is able to penetrate into the brain on its own.

However, severe inflammation — which is observed in COVID patients — can break down the barrier.
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