A new study provides answers to questions that have baffled scientists about the relationship between loss of smell and the long-term coronavirus.
In the study published in the journalTranslational Medicine Sciences“The virus launches a continuous attack on the immune system and on the nerve cells in the nose, which reduces the number of those nerve cells and causes a decrease in sense.
Many people who experience a change in their sense of smell during the acute phase of a viral infection regain the sense within one to two weeks, but some do not, says neurobiologist Bradley Goldstein of Duke University in North Carolina.
“We need to better understand why this subset of people will continue to have persistent anosmia from months to years after infection with the virus.”
The team studied nasal tissue samples taken from 24 people, including nine who suffered from long-term loss of smell after infection with Corona.
The researchers noted the widespread presence of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infection. However, these cells appear to do more harm than good and damage the olfactory tissues.
The researchers suggest that these biological mechanisms could also be behind other symptoms of prolonged corona, including excessive fatigue, shortness of breath and “brain fog” that makes it difficult to focus.
The team seeks that the findings pave the way for the development of possible treatments for those suffering from long-term loss of the sense of smell.