The study revealed that the entire Central Nervous System (CNS) and the underlying structures in the brain of the infected persons are more prone to infection with devastating effects.
Dr Surajit Ghosh and his team have pointed out that SARS-CoV-2 is known to interact with a specific human receptor known as hACE2 (human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2).
This also happens to be the entry point of the virus and has an almost ubiquitous presence in most human organs ranging from lung parenchyma to nasal mucosa.
The brain is also known to express this receptor.
They have attributed the loss of smell or taste to the fact that nose and mouth both are very important entry points of the virus, which then may be slowly making its way to the olfactory bulb using the neurons of the olfactory mucosa.
The olfactory bulb located in the forebrain is the structure that is chiefly responsible for the sense of smell.
This explains the loss of smell associated with many asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 and also may be exposing the CNS to viral infection.
The paper accepted in ACS Chemical Neuroscience and supported by Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory Body of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), has suggested probable therapeutic strategies that could be adopted to combat it on the basis of understanding the neurological manifestations of the COVID-19.