A frequent complication among Covid-19 patients
On World Stroke Day, which falls on the 29th of October each year, researchers in this field indicate that having the seasonal flu or the novel coronavirus can increase the risk of stroke that occur as a result of a long disease process.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.
But of course, not all coronavirus patients are susceptible to this. There are long-term risk factors, i.e. chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and high levels of cholesterol that have negative effects on the blood vessels.
With a lack of exercise, failure to follow a healthy diet, the inability to control diabetes and blood pressure, and if the patient also suffers from the novel coronavirus, the negative factors will accumulate to eventually lead to a blockage in the blood vessels by a clot or fat accumulation called plaques.
According to medical reports from several countries, the coronavirus that causes (COVID-19) can increase the risk of stroke and the reason is that infection and inflammation can stimulate the blood clotting process, which results in blood clots and blockages. If one of the clots succeeds in penetrating the brain through the vessels, it may cause a decrease in blood flow to the brain and thus a stroke.
It is true that the novel virus directly affects the respiratory system and lungs, but neuroscientists and neurologists around the world have been able to collect evidence showing the virus’s impact on the brain, which raises concern. This virus has the ability to multiply inside the brain; it is not clear yet how widely it can spread, while its presence deprives brain cells from oxygen.
Of course, the risk of stroke increases in cases of severe infection with the virus, and even among the elderly, who are overweight or suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or lead an unhealthy lifestyle. There are many factors that may contribute to blood clotting in coronavirus patients: Modern medical and scientific research indicates that clotting occurs when the COVID-19 attacks the cells that line blood vessels by penetrating the ACE2 receptor located in the endothelial cell membrane, and once it binds to the receptors, the blood vessels release the proteins that cause blood clots. ACE2 receptors are present in the neural cortex and brain stem, but it’s not known under what circumstances the virus penetrates the brain and interacts with these receptors.
Blood clots are gel-like collections of blood that form in your veins or arteries when blood changes from liquid to partially solid. Clotting is a normal function that stops your body from bleeding too much when you get hurt. However, blood clots that form in some places and don’t dissolve on their own can be dangerous to your health. Research indicates that COVID-19 patients face an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots, which greatly exacerbates the outcome and makes them more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
Studies from around the world also indicate the prevalence of symptoms of neurological disorders among coronavirus patients, including mild symptoms such as headache, loss of smell and tingling, and acute symptoms such as loss of speech, stroke and seizures. So far, it is estimated that about 50 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus suffer from neurological disorders.