SEATTLE (KOMO) — If you’ve had COVID-19 within the past three years, you may have heard of the term long COVID.
Those are the new or ongoing health problems that many people experience after being infected with the virus.
Some new research led by UW Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System has found inflammation is the likely culprit of long COVID symptoms like foggy brain and vanishing memory.
Researchers used mice to study the S protein.
The S1 protein is what the virus uses to attach to other cells and inject its material inside a cell, said Dr. Bill Banks, Professor of Medicine for UW Medicine’s Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Think of it sort of like a docking station at the International Space Station, he said.
Researchers found the S1 protein, which is attached to all SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, readily passed through the blood-brain barrier and caused inflammation that can spur problems with learning and memory. The protein can …