False: COVID-19 infection can cause prion-like disease in the brain.

By: Annie Priya
July 23 2021

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False: COVID-19 infection can cause prion-like disease in the brain.


The Verdict False

There is no conclusive scientific evidence that COVID-19 can cause prion-like disease in the brain.

Claim ID a7c6d13e

Prion refers to abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and can induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins found in the brain, affecting humans and animals. The diseases are spread to humans by infected meat products. The most common form of prion disease that affects humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The symptoms of prion can be muscle stiffness, confusion, Fatigue, hallucinations, difficulty speaking, and many others. However, prion diseases are rare, and experts still do not know a lot about these diseases. An article by Science Direct stated that only one person had developed CJD associated with the symptomatic onset of COVID-19. The data on prion disease pathogenesis and immune responses to COVID-19 found the hypothesis that the cascade of systemic inflammatory mediators in response to the virus accelerated the pathogenesis of a patient's prion disease. This hypothesis introduces the potential relationship between immune responses to COVID-19 and the manifest neurodegenerative disorders. But, experts stated that this first report of CJD in a patient with COVID-19 is a pure coincidence. A study published in The Lancet found that 14 COVID-19 patients, after six months, reported neurological and psychiatric diseases like stroke, Parkinsonism, Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve, nerve root, and plexus disorders, and more. However, more research is needed to assess the effects of COVID-19 on brain issues. Even the University of Edinburgh stated that the solid inflammatory responses in patients with severe COVID-19 disease may accelerate the neurodegeneration caused by prion disease, but it is rare. Hence due to insufficient evidence, we mark this claim as false. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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