The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has discovered evidence of small hemorrhages in the brain tissue of fetuses at the peak of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom.
There are already many reasons to be concerned about COVID-19, but there is one more to add to the list. There is evidence of the virus in embryonic brain tissue in cases when pregnant women transmitted the infection to their offspring.
Scientists Test Fetal Tissue
Therefore, it is not only the effects of the disease on our bodies that are cause for concern, but also the impacts of the disease on the bodies of unborn babies, which experts have been urgently investigating.
The scientists examined 661 samples of human fetal tissue obtained between July 2020 and April 2022 and identified 26 instances of hemorrhages. COVID-19 was detected in all tissue samples with indications of bleeding. All of the samples were obtained from pregnancies that had been voluntarily ended.
Katie Long, a neurobiologist at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, explains, “Hemorrhages do occasionally occur in growing brains, but it is highly rare for there to be this many cases within 21 months.”
Now, it is of the utmost importance that we follow up with children who were prenatally exposed to COVID-19 to see if there are enduring neurological impacts.
Researchers identified indicators of tissue injury as a decline in blood vessel integrity and an increase in immune cell infiltration into the brain. This may be a direct or indirect outcome of the COVID-19 infection or the mother’s immunological response.
Even though the coronavirus was only verified in the tissues of the fetuses, it is safe to presume that the infections originated in the mothers. It is unknown if the bleeding was a direct result of the mother’s COVID or the fetus’s illness, or if the association involves an undiscovered mechanism. However, the connection is sufficient to cause caution.
Can COVID-19 Cause Brain Hemorrhage?
The majority of samples exhibiting evidence of hemorrhage were from the late first and early second trimesters of pregnancy, indicating that the embryonic brain can be harmed at an early stage of development.
Additionally, traces of SARS-CoV-2 were discovered in the placenta, amnion, and umbilical cord tissue samples, indicating that the presence of COVID-19 may result in additional difficulties.
The Zika virus is one of the most prominent cases in recent years demonstrating the severity of these impacts.
There are studies that correlate health concerns in fetuses with cases of COVID-19 in pregnant moms, but the data pool on this topic is still very tiny; scientists will work to expand it in the future.