New research published in Function examined whether blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment contributed to the development of neurological problems during COVID-19 progression, and to what extent.

The blood-brain barrier is a filtering mechanism of the capillaries that carry blood to the brain and spinal cord tissue while blocking the passage of certain toxic substances.

Researchers noted that clinical presentation of COVID-19 frequently includes severe neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms but it remains unknown how pathological impairment of BBB contributes.

The study, “Plasma of COVID-19 patients does not alter electrical resistance of human,” demonstrated that “COVID-19-associated blood plasma inflammatory factors do not affect blood-brain barrier paracellular pathway directly.”

In addition, the results suggest “pathological remodeling, if any, of the BBB during COVID-19 may occur through indirect or yet unknown mechanisms.”

“Accumulating evidence indicates that cerebral vascular dysfunction is a common feature of COVID-19,” the research team wrote. “Therefore, it is important to understand the intricate connections between blood cytokine/chemokine profiles, blood-brain barrier integrity and the severity of neurological manifestations of COVID-19.”

Read the full article at Function.