SARS-CoV-2 infects neurons and induces neuroinflammation in a non-human primate model of COVID-19

The study “SARS-CoV-2 infects neurons and induces neuroinflammation in a non-human primate model of COVID-19” by Danielle Beckman et al. provides critical insights into the neurological impact of COVID-19.

Here’s a detailed summary of this study:

Study Overview

  • Authors: Danielle Beckman, Alyssa Bonillas, Giovanne B. Diniz, et al.
  • Published On: November 1, 2022


  • Background: Understanding the neurological impact of COVID-19 is crucial, given the virus’s diverse effects beyond respiratory symptoms.
  • Objective: This study aims to investigate if SARS-CoV-2 directly infects the central nervous system, causing neurological symptoms in COVID-19.


  • Animal Model: The study uses rhesus macaques, an effective model for understanding human immunological responses to COVID-19.
  • Focus Areas: The research focuses on examining the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain, specifically in the olfactory areas, and its effect on neurons and neuroinflammation.

Key Findings

  • Viral Presence in Neurons: SARS-CoV-2 proteins were found in the olfactory areas of the macaques’ brains at 7 days post-infection, indicating direct neuronal infection.
  • Neuroinflammation and Vascular Disruptions: The infection was accompanied by significant neuroinflammation and vascular disruptions.
  • Exacerbation in Aged and Diabetic Animals: The study found that the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the brain were worsened in aged and diabetic monkeys.


  • Insights into Neurological Symptoms: The findings provide a potential explanation for the neurological symptoms observed in up to 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
  • Long-Term Health Concerns: The study raises concerns about the long-term neurological and cognitive impacts of COVID-19, particularly in older individuals and those with preexisting conditions like diabetes.


  • Significance: The study highlights the neurotropic potential of SARS-CoV-2 and underscores the importance of considering neurological complications in COVID-19 management.
  • Future Research: The findings advocate for more research into the long-term neurological consequences of COVID-19 and the development of targeted treatments.

This summary offers a comprehensive overview of the study, emphasizing its significance in understanding the neurological aspects of COVID-19.

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