Could Loss Of Smell Lead To Health Challenges Later In Life?

Published: Monday, February 15, 2021 - 8:35am
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 1:05pm

We all know the symptoms of COVID-19: fever, aches, loss of taste and smell are ones we hear a lot about. And while most recover from COVID-19, could there be effects that don’t manifest until later in life? 

COVID-19 seems to hit everyone differently. Some may have lost their sense of smell. 

"You know, the pathways of smell, they go directly into the brain, and to areas that we call sort of like the medial temporal lobes and in areas around there that are very, very connected to memory," said Dr. Alireza Atri, director of the Banner Sun Health Institute. 

And he says they’re already seeing evidence of inflammation in the brain.

"So, something's happening," said Atri. "Whether the virus is causing a number of other issues with your blood vessels, etc., that affects your brain. That's one thing. But there's certainly inflammation going on. And in some cases, you're right: We don't know the long-term consequences of that."

Atri says more research and studies will be needed in the years ahead. 

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