Effects of Spike Protein on Brains of COVID-19 Patients: German Study

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 65 million people worldwide are suffering with symptoms of long-COVID, a debilitating condition that affects a wide range of organ systems. 

Neurological symptoms are among the most common. Brain fog, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments have been identified in as many as one in four COVID patients even 12 months after infection. The cognitive impairments from long-COVID, according to a 2023 Nature review paper, are not insignificant; on average, they are equivalent to a decade of cognitive ageing.  

All of this has researchers wondering, which element of the virus accounts for these neurological symptoms? 

A recent pre-print study out of Germany recently shed new light on this question, by investigating the potential role of the spike protein in neurological complications.  

By first visualizing the spike protein distribution in genetically modified mice, the scientists discovered that, as expected, it was found in the lungs, kidneys, and liver. Interestingly, it was also present in areas such as the human skull marrow, smooth muscle cells, and meninges (layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord). 

Nattokinase: Nature's Answer to the Lingering Effects of Spike Protein?

They then compared these results with post-mortem brain samples of COVID-19 patients and found a similar persistence of spike in skull marrow and brain tissue. 

Through molecular analysis, the researchers found that the spike protein caused various changes in the brain and surrounding tissues, including an upregulation of pro-inflammatory proteins and proteins associated with blood clots. These findings, the authors note, could help explain why some COVID-19 patients develop mini-infarcts (small areas of dead tissue due to lack of blood) and micro-bleeds in the brain.

This wasn’t the only important pathway in which they identified an impairment; they also found that the spike protein was linked to the disruption of proteins in the PI3K-AKT pathway, which is important in cell survival and growth. 

Lastly, the study suggested a mechanism for the virus's entry into the central nervous system, hypothesizing that the spike protein first reaches the skull marrow and then the meninges before infiltrating the brain, presenting both diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. 

The Bottomline

While much remains unclear regarding the long-term implications of the long-COVID, these data unambiguously link neurological pathology to sustained presence of the protein. 

Related Supplement

The Wellness Company's "Spike Support Formula" contains ingredients such as Nattokinase, which have shown promise in degrading the spike protein in preliminary studies. As we continue to learn more about the long-term effects of this complex virus, we at TWC remain focused on supporting your health through research-backed wellness solutions. 

In addition to Nattokinase, Spike Support also contains the following ingredients:
  • Selenium (aids in helping the body repair itself and recover)  
  • Dandelion root (may prevent spike protein from binding to cells)  
  • Black sativa extract (may facilitate cellular repair)  
  • Green tea extract (provides added defenses at the cellular level through scavenging for free radicals)  
  • Irish sea moss (could help rebuild damaged tissue and muscle) 

References  

 [1] Davis, H. E., McCorkell, L., Vogel, J. M., & Topol, E. J. (2023). Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 1-14. 

[2] Cysique, L. A., Jakabek, D., Bracken, S. G., Allen-Davidian, Y., Heng, B., Chow, S., ... & Brew, B. J. (2022). Post-acute COVID-19 cognitive impairment and decline uniquely associate with kynurenine pathway activation: a longitudinal observational study. medRxiv, 2022-06. 

[3] Rong, Z., Mai, H., Kapoor, S., Puelles, V., Czogalla, J., Schaedler, J., ... & Erturk, A. (2023). SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Accumulation in the Skull-Meninges-Brain Axis: Potential Implications for Long-Term Neurological Complications in post-COVID-19. bioRxiv, 2023-04. 

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