Brain damage from the virus that causes COVID-19 has now been documented by neurologists in Britain, and it tells a tale of cell invasion and oxygen starvation. The effects of which may—or may not—be reversible.

[The coronavirus] exploits the brain cells’ machinery to multiply, but doesn’t destroy them. Instead, it chokes off oxygen to adjacent cells, causing them to wither and die.

The researchers didn’t find any evidence of an immune response to remedy this problem. “It’s kind of a silent infection,” Dr. Iwasaki said. “This virus has a lot of evasion mechanisms.”

The New York Times, “How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain”

Up to 60% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are reported to experience neurological and psychological symptoms, and mortality from brain infection may be more deadly than respiratory infection. The olfactory bulb, eyes, or bloodstream seem to be where the novel coronavirus chooses to cross over into the brain by using neurons to complete the invasion.

Once inside, it uses brute force to choke off oxygen to adjacent cells.

An analysis of this new study and comment from the researchers reveals appear in this article from The New York Times.