Involvement of the nervous system in COVID-19: The bell should toll in the brain

Sairaj Satarker, Madhavan Nampoothiri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The world is fuming at SARS-CoV-2 for being the culprit for causing the devastating COVID-19, claiming millions of lives across the globe in the form of respiratory disorders. But lesser known are its effects on the CNS that are slowly surfacing in the worldwide population. Our review illustrates findings that claim SARS-CoV-2's arrival onto the ACE2 receptors of neuronal and glial cells mainly via CSF, olfactory nerve, trigeminal nerve, neuronal dissemination, and hematogenous pathways. The role of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in its smooth viral infectivity of the host cannot be ignored, especially the spike proteins that mediate spike attachment and host membrane fusion. Worth mentioning the nucleocapsid, envelope, and membrane proteins make the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2 much simpler than expected in spreading infection. This has led to catastrophic conditions like seizures, Guillain-Barré syndrome, viral encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, acute cerebrovascular disease, and respiratory failures. Placing a magnifying lens on the lesser-explored CNS consequences of COVID-19, we attempt to shift the focus of our readers onto the new supporting threats to which further studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118568
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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