COVID-19 patients’ brains show Alzheimer’s-like symptoms

The brain abnormalities of people who have suffered severe COVID-19 include abnormal levels of beta-amyloid, which accumulates in amyloid plaques and accumulation of tau protein inside brain cells.

Andrew Marks, Columbia University’s professor of neuroscience, and his colleagues examined the brains 10 COVID-19 patients. They found deficiencies in proteins known as ryanodine receptacles which control calcium passage into cells. Defective ryanodine-receptors in Alzheimer’s disease are associated with tau accumulation into neurofibrillary “tangles”. The Columbia team reported Thursday in Alzheimer’s & Dementia that these tangles were found in high numbers in the brains of COVID-19 patients. Reports posted online before peer review on bioRxiv’s preprint server and on The Lancet’s preprint servers indicate that other research teams also looked for abnormal levels of amyloid in the brains of COVID-19 patient.

All the patients who had suffered the most severe form of COVID-19 were included in the study. Marks stated that similar brain changes may be occurring in patients with milder illnesses, which could explain the “brain fog” associated with long-term COVID. He said that patients with severe COVID-19 may be more at risk of developing dementia later in life. However, it’s too early to know. He advised that patients with severe COVID-19 should get a booster vaccine to avoid contracting the virus. “If you get COVID-19 you won’t likely die. However, we don’t know much about the long-term effects.”

Seniors can have flu shot and mRNA COVID-19 boost together

A new study has confirmed that seniors can get high-dose flu vaccine as well as an mRNA COVID-19 boost dose simultaneously.

All 306 participants in the study, who were all over 65 years old, were randomly assigned to either Sanofi’s Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza vaccine or a third shot with Moderna’s DNA vaccine. According to a Tuesday report in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, blood samples taken before and 21 days following vaccination revealed that the combination of the vaccines did not alter the immune response. Participants in all three groups had similar levels of antibody, the report said.

Sanofi spokesperson said that the combination administration of the COVID-19-influenza vaccines “didn’t raise any safety concerns” and that the study team continues to monitor study participants for 6 months after vaccination.

Children could die from fluid in rapid COVID testing

Experts warn that the small “reagent fluid” contained in some COVID-19 quick test kits contains sodium azide. This powerful poison is especially dangerous for children.

Small amounts of sodium azide can cause dizziness, fainting, dangerously low blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and even heart attacks in adults, according to Dr. Kelly Johnson Abor, the Co-Medical Director of National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C. She and her colleagues published their findings in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Johnson-Arbor stated that the sodium azide levels found in COVID-19 quick test kits do not always cause low blood pressure in adults. The iHealth kits sent by the U.S. government contain no sodium azide. She said that children are more susceptible to poisonous effects than adults because they are smaller than adults.

There have been many reports from poison control hotlines about accidental exposure to the reagent liquid. Johnson-Arbor stated that people have accidentally swallowed the solution. Others have sprayed it on their skin and some others have put it in the eyes. Johnson-Arbor also said that they have mistook the bottle for eye drops. Poison Control should be contacted immediately if you or your loved one have swallowed the reagent fluid, or the fluid gets in their eyes or on their skin. (In the U.S., at or 1-800-222-1222; in the UK at