The loss of smell (or anosmia) is due to damage to the olfactory bulb caused by Covid-19, according to an American study on the subject.
The loss of smell in the event of Covid finally explained? This symptom, one of the most common of the virus, has been studied for two years and the start of the pandemic. As our colleagues from the Dauphine Liberean American study, published in the scientific journal JAMA Neurology, analyzed organs taken from 23 people who died of Covid-19 and another group of 14 people who died of another cause.
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Blood vessels and axons of the olfactory bulb
The researchers’ findings establish that the virus could be linked to clear damage to the olfactory bulb, the region of the brain that processes smell. Specifically, patients with Covid-19 are more likely to have damaged blood vessels and axons, the nerve fiber that transmits signals between neurons, in the olfactory bulb. In patients who died from Covid, the connections on axons were 60% more severe and 36% involved microscopic blood vessels than in people who died without having contracted the virus.
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But as our colleagues explain, there are still doubts and things to discover. In the study published on Monday, the authors clarified that these lesions in the olfactory bulb were not directly caused by the Covid, but that it could come from an inflammation caused by the virus.