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Covid accelerates 'zombie cells' in the brain, but we may be able to reverse it

An Australian study has found Covid accelerates ‘zombie’ cells in the brain, which are linked to premature ageing. However, researchers claim they have also found a way to reverse the cellular process.

Video transcript

- An Australian study has found COVID accelerates zombie cells in the brain, which are linked aging. However, researchers claim they've also found a way to reverse the cellular process. Senescent or zombie cells naturally accumulate as the brain gets older although it's believed those who have had COVID are more likely to have the process of these cells appearing to speed up. The senescent cells are known to drive tissue inflammation and degeneration, leaving patients exposed to cognitive impairments like brain fog and memory loss.

The researchers used synthetic brain models grown in a laboratory from human stem cells to study how these negative impacts could be combated. The research team found four drugs that selectively removed the unwanted cells and subsequently decreased the chance of neurodegenerative symptoms while also rejuvenating the brain. The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Research at Dr. Julio Aguado said more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms at play, but this study marks a significant step forward in our knowledge of the intricate relationship between viral infections, aging, and neurological being.