Science Translational Medicine is the journal where the paper has been published.
Researchers have now uncovered the causes of why we lose our sense of smell from the long-Covid infection. It’s connected to a continuing immunological attack on olfactory nerve cells and a corresponding drop in those cells’ numbers. Additionally, there were fewer olfactory sensory neurons, probably as a result of chronic inflammation damaging the sensitive tissue.
Our anatomy’s sense of smell is made possible by the olfactory nerves. The study may aid in developing novel methods for treating the viral infection and those whose sense of smell has not fully returned following COVID-19.
The discovery illuminates potential molecular pathways that may be responsible for additional long-Covid-19 effects. And they include weariness, shortness of breath, and brain fog.
Nine patients with long-term scent loss due to Covid-19 were included in the 24 biopsies. They were examined by researchers from Duke, Harvard, and the University of California-San Diego. The olfactory epithelium experienced an inflammatory reaction. This was the result of the T-cells’ extensive infiltration. Additionally, they discovered that there were fewer olfactory sensory neurons. It was probably the result of chronic inflammation damaging the sensitive tissue.
The first step in starting to design remedies is identifying the damaged areas and the cell types involved.
The results of this study may potentially guide future investigations into other long-Covid-19 symptoms that may be experiencing comparable inflammatory processes.