Study finds why COVID-19 accelerates stroke risk

A study led by University of California- Los Angeles Health Sciences (UCLA) used 3D-printed 'blood vessels' to explain how COVID-19 virus increases the risk of stroke. Researchers did a study about the running fluid spiked with a COVID-19-like protein through a 3D-printed model of the arteries of a patient who had suffered a stroke. Although COVID-19 was first identified by its severe respiratory symptoms, little is known about how the virus increases the risk for stroke. Another discovery shows that when the scientists analyzed which genes were turned on in the endothelial cells after the coronavirus spike proteins bound to them, they found that the genes that were activated were a specific set of immune-response genes that are found in brain blood vessel cells, but not in endothelial cells from other organs of the body. The researchers intend to conduct follow-up studies using a live coronavirus in the 3D-printed blood vessel model, which would further confirm the results of the current study and clarify which COVID-19 patients may have a higher risk for stroke.