Corneal Nerve Fibre Loss Could Be A Sign of ‘Long COVID’

Long COVID is a long-term syndrome that emerges in some people after COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 long-haulers experience many symptoms, majorly neurological problems, which indicate nerve cell damage in the body.

According to a new study, nerve damage and a buildup of immune cells in the cornea may be a sign of long COVID. Preliminary evidence from new studies suggests that long COVID may involve damage to tiny nerve fibres. To assess this co-relation, researchers used the corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) technique to take snapshots of nerve cells in the cornea. This is a non-invasive procedure that can be used to count the total number of small nerve fibres in the cornea while also assessing the length and degree of branching of these nerve fibres.

The study results showed that people who develop neurological symptoms after a COVID-19 infection show significant small-fibre nerve loss in the cornea, compared with COVID-19 survivors without lingering neurological symptoms. The degree of nerve-fibre damage correlated with the participants’ symptom severity. These preliminary results will need to be verified in a larger group of people with long COVID.

Source: British Journal of Ophthalmology #Featured


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