NRC's publication on COVID-19 garners worldwide attention

- Ottawa, Ontario

Experts at the Nanotechnology and Human Health Therapeutics research centres recently published a highly consulted article on the impact that the SARS-CoV-2 infection has on the central nervous system (CNS).

The article, "Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 may be an underappreciated pathogen of the central nervous system" is featured in Neurology, the official journal of the European Academy of Neurology, and is among the first COVID-19-related publications produced from the NRC. This article is also one of the first by an all-Canadian group to be accessed at such a high rate after publishing. The following experts from the NRC collaborated on the project: Alam Syed Benazir, Steven Willows, and Marianna Kulka from Biomedical Nanotechnologies; and Jagdeep Sandhu from Preclinical Imaging and Microscopy.

The paper has already been accessed more than 1,400 times worldwide and has received considerable attention from COVID-19 researchers.

In the publication, the researchers outline that although COVID-19 was first described as a respiratory disease, new data shows that SARS‐CoV‐2 can infect almost every organ, resulting in an ever‐increasing list of symptoms. In particular, neurological symptoms and disturbances in the CNS are common in many COVID-19 patients and may be a predictor of disease severity. This review summarizes some of the most recent data on COVID-19-associated neurological disease. It is now clear that SARS‐CoV‐2 has the potential to infect the central nervous system and cause long‐term neurological damage in COVID-19 patients.

This deeper understanding of the virus, described by NRC researchers, is helping pave the way for future research in this area and enabling the development of better therapeutic strategies.