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Reason behind smell loss after COVID-19 infection has been found

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The reason behind the loss of taste and smell after Covid-19 has been found in a study. The study says that it is the attack on the olfactory nerve cells which is causing the mess. The ongoing immunity assault on those nerves decline in the number of those cells. 

The study was published by a team of scientists led by Duke Health report on Dec. 21 in the journal Science Translational Medicine which provides an important insight into a vexing problem that has plagued millions who have not fully recovered their sense of smell after COVID-19.

"One of the first symptoms that has typically been associated with COVID-19 infection is loss of smell," said senior author Bradley Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Duke's Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences and the Department of Neurobiology.

"Fortunately, many people who have an altered sense of smell during the acute phase of viral infection will recover smell within the next one to two weeks, but some do not," Goldstein said. "We need to better understand why this subset of people will go on to have persistent smell loss for months to years after being infected with SARS-CoV2."

 

The study

According to News Medical and Life Sciences, "In the study, Goldstein and colleagues at Duke, Harvard and the University of California-San Diego analyzed olfactory epithelial samples collected from 24 biopsies, including nine patients suffering from long-term smell loss following COVID-19.

This biopsy-based approach -- using sophisticated single-cell analyses in collaboration with Sandeep Datta, M.D., Ph.D., at Harvard University -- revealed widespread infiltration of T-cells engaged in an inflammatory response in the olfactory epithelium, the tissue in the nose where smell nerve cells are located. This unique inflammation process persisted despite the absence of detectable SARS-CoV-2 levels."

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