New Findings: COVID-19 Boosts 'Zombie Cell' Accumulation in the Brain

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.18 - 2023 8:30 AM CET

COVID-19 Boosts 'Zombie Cell' Accumulation in the Brain.

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A recent study conducted by the University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology has revealed a significant increase in the production of "zombie" or senescent cells due to COVID-19.

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These cells, which naturally accumulate in the brain as people age, are known to cause tissue inflammation and degeneration, potentially leading to cognitive impairments like brain fog and memory loss.

The research team, led by Julio Aguado, made this discovery while examining the impact of COVID-19 on lab-grown synthetic brain tissue.

Importantly, the study also identified a method to reverse these effects.

The researchers tested four drugs - navitoclax, ABT-737, fisetin, and a combination of dasatinib plus quercetin (D+Q) - and found them effective in eliminating the zombie cells.

Dr. Aguado emphasized the need for further research to fully understand the mechanisms involved. However, he noted that the study represents a significant advancement in understanding the complex relationship between viral infections, aging, and neurological health.

The findings suggest potential long-term applications of these drugs in treating persistent post-acute infection syndromes caused by viral infections like COVID-19.

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