We now know that there is both gray and white matter brain damage that occurs with long COVID, also known as long hauler COVID-19 syndrome (LHCS) or post-acute COVID syndrome (PACS).
A study designed to examine the neurological impacts of long COVID conducted by clinicians from Stanford and Yale universities showed damage to the oligodendrocytes; these are the cells that are primarily responsible for maintenance and generation of the myelin sheath that surrounds axons in the central nervous system (CNS). This results in impacts to the white matter, as well as damage to the hippocampus or the primary memory center of the brain. The UK Biobank study showed more generalized gray matter loss in those after a mild COVID case.
As we have discussed in our extensive series that looks at the ongoing research relevant to this continuously changing health issue, spike protein is now considered the 'biomarker for long COVID.” Studies have shown that it lingers in the body for a lengthy period after COVID and may do so in some individuals following injections. As of August 8, 2022, over 12.4 billion shots have been given globally and data from a large German health insurer’s study showed 1 in 25 people experience some post-vaccine injuries.
I think of the primary mechanisms of CNS injury driven by spike protein/viral fragments as “The Four Horsemen.”
1. Damage to the blood-brain barrier (BBB)/neuroinflammation/microglial cell activation.
2. Vascular inflammation and microclotting.
3. Autoimmune mechanisms/molecular mimicry (spike protein shares an astounding similarity to the human body and brain). Of significance, in a study we have previously noted, Dr. Vorjdani and colleagues found 28 out of 55 human tissues reacting to viral fragments.
Please note this additional remarkable study in zebrafish who also have a shared homology with humans, “Toxicity of spike fragments SARS-CoV-2 S protein for zebrafish: A tool to study its hazardous for human health?”
After injecting spike protein into these poor fish, they very quickly died due to damage to the ovaries, liver, kidney and brain. These researchers, I believe, are worried about all the spike protein getting into the water supply as a rising environmental hazard. From previous science, we know that exosomes carry S1 for at least 4 months and exosomes are found in every bodily fluid, and in the power of our breath.
4. Spike protein induces the formation of amyloid and other prions; note the rising cases of bizarre, very rapid and aggressive cases of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) that I previously discussed in Part 8 of our most recent and detailed series. I also drew attention to this case of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) with neurological symptoms that came on within 36 hours of a mRNA vaccine.
The S Nystrom study showed that S1 alone mixed with a white blood cell (WBC) enzyme called neutrophil elastase started a cascade of amyloid formation. The researchers were astounded at how quickly amyloid formed.
5. But, now there is a fifth horseman, as research shows that spike protein carries a neurotoxin. A neurotoxin (very similar to what is found in snake venom) was found in the spike motif. Please be sure to read the latest nine-part entryin our long COVID blog series and catch up on previous articles that delve into the mechanisms and more that can affect our neurological wellbeing.
We urgently need long COVID/post-vaccine injury recovery centers of excellence that are accessible to all patients to treat the many varied presentations of this multisystem disorder and as this potential tsunami of impacts intensifies.
In hope and health,
Dr. Suzanne Gazda
Monge, S., Iwasaki, A. et al. Mild respiratory COVID can cause multi-lineage neural cell and myelin dysregulation. Cell. July 7, 2022. https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(22)00713-9#relatedArticles
Douai, G., Lee, S., Alfaro-Almagro, F. et al. SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank. Nature 604, 697–707 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04569-5
Vandana A, Kharrazian D. Potential antigenic cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV-2 and human tissue with a possible link to an increase in autoimmune diseases. Clin Immunol. 2020;217:108480. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2020.108480
Ventura Fernandes BH, Feijoa NM, Barbosa AP, et al. Toxicity of spike fragments SARS-CoV-2 S protein for zebrafish: A tool to study its hazardous for human health. Sci Total Environ. 2022;813:152345. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152345
Mai Yamakawa, Sharon Lynch, Ryan Townley. A case of cerebral amyloid angiopathy related inflammation after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Neuroimmunology Reports. Volume 2, 2022, 100120, ISSN 2667-257X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nerep.2022.100120
Nyström, S., Hammarström, P. Amyloidogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein
Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2022 144 (20), 8945-8950
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