UK Scientists Investigating Effects of COVID-19 Infection and Alcohol on the Brain.

UK professors Dr. John Littleton and Dr. Mark Prendergast are investigating the effects of COVID-19 “spike proteins” on the brain. COVID-19 spike proteins may be toxic in the brain, particularly in an alcohol-dependent brain. Many patients with COVID-19 are reporting losses of smell and taste, indicating that the virus or proteins associated with it are entering the brain (as HIV-1 does). Because of the unique molecular structure of the virus spike proteins, they are likely to target neurochemical receptors that are "upregulated" by chronic alcohol intake. This suggests that alcohol-abusing individuals may be particularly susceptible to COVID-19- related CNS symptoms. Prendergast and Littleton have received a grant to the National Institutes of Health to extend their studies on viral proteins in the brain. Better understanding how viral proteins interact with the brain is the first step in understanding how to better protect the brain from viral toxicity. NEUROSCIENCE AT UK !


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