A US study has claimed that coronavirus is capable of invading the brain, causing confusion, headaches, and delirium.
The study published on Wednesday said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus can breach the blood-brain-barrier, a structure that encloses the brain's blood vessels and tries to obstruct foreign substances.
Although the research is still preliminary, it provides numerous new lines of evidence to support what earlier was a largely untested hypothesis, the AFP reported.
Zika virus also does this leading to substantial damage to the brains of fetuses.
The paper, led by Yale immunologist Akiko Iwasaki, stated that the virus is capable of replicating inside the brain starving nearby brain cells of oxygen, incidence of this is not yet clear.
Praising the techniques used in the study, S Andrew Josephson, chair of the neurology department at the University of California expressed that "understanding whether or not there is direct viral involvement of the brain is extraordinarily important."
He however stated that he would remain prudent until the paper undergoes peer review.
Doctors had believed until now that the neurological effects seen in around half of all patients could rather be the result of an anomalous immune response known as cytokine storm that leads to inflammation of the brain - instead of the virus attacking directly.