Can COVID-19 pandemic boost the epidemic of neurodegenerative diseases?

Alexei Verkhratsky, Qing Li, Sonia Melino, Gerry Melino, Yufang Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents the world with the medical challenge associated with multifactorial nature of this pathology. Indeed COVID-19 affects several organs and systems and presents diversified clinical picture. COVID-19 affects the brain in many ways including direct infection of neural cells with SARS-CoV-2, severe systemic inflammation which floods the brain with pro-inflammatory agents thus damaging nervous cells, global brain ischaemia linked to a respiratory failure, thromboembolic strokes related to increased intravascular clotting and severe psychological stress. Often the COVID-19 is manifested by neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms that include dizziness, disturbed sleep, cognitive deficits, delirium, hallucinations and depression. All these indicate the damage to the nervous tissue which may substantially increase the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and promote dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalBiology direct
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Brain
  • Cognitive deficits, neurodegeneration
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-Cov-2
  • Systemic inflammation

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