Long COVID Could Be Linked To The Effects Of SARS-CoV-2 On The Vagus Nerve

Many symptoms of PCC, long Covid 19 or post-Covid syndrome may be connected to the virus’s effect on the vagus nerve. This nerve is an important multi-functional nerve in the body, say researchers in Spain.

The study is going to be submitted at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which will be held in Spain in April 2021. The study was conducted by Dr. Lourdes Mateu and Dr. Gemma Lladós. They both are from the University Hospital Germans Trias I Pujol in Badalona, Spain.

This nerve descends from the brain, enters the body, goes to the lungs, the heart, and digestive system. It also connects to several muscles, including those that help you swallow. Because this nerve controls a wide range of bodily functions, it is important for everything from controlling heart rate to controlling speech to moving food from the mouth to the stomach and through the intestines to sweating.

The researchers said that the long Covid could probably be a disabling condition affecting 10% to 15% of the infection survivors. A group of researchers said that Vagus Nerve Dysfunction (VND) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be the cause of some long-term Covid symptoms, like continuing voice problems or dysphonia, dysphagia (problems with swallowing), dizziness, increased heart rate, low blood pressure) and diarrhea.

The authors did a pilot study on 348 people, which looked at the shape and function of the vagus nerve using imaging and functional tests in a group of long Covid people who had symptoms that suggested VND between March and June 2021. The study is still going on, and people are still being added to it.

Eating and digesting were also affected in some people, say the researchers.

“In this pilot evaluation, most long Covid subjects with vagus nerve dysfunction symptoms had a range of significant, clinically-relevant, structural and/or functional alterations in their vagus nerve, including nerve thickening, trouble swallowing, and symptoms of impaired breathing. Our findings so far thus point at vagus nerve dysfunction as a central pathophysiological feature of long Covid,” the authors said.