Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned on Thursday of the potential for long-term brain loss related to Covid, citing a new study from the UK.
“In short, the study suggests there could be long-term brain tissue loss from Covid, and that would have some long-term ramifications,” said the former FDA chief and CNBC employee.
“You could compensate for that over time, so the symptoms of it may go away, but you will never get the tissue back if the virus actually destroys it,” said Gottlieb, serving on the board of directors at Covid vaccine maker Pfizer.
The UK study looked at imaging of the brain before and after coronavirus infection, specifically looking at the possible effects on the nervous system.
Gottlieb told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the destruction of brain tissue could explain why Covid patients have lost their sense of smell.
“The decrease in the amount of cortical tissue happened by chance in regions of the brain that are near the places responsible for the odor,” he said. “What it suggests is that the odor, the loss of smell, is just an effect of a more primary process that is going on, and that process is actually the shrinking of the cortical tissue.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion Inc., and biotechnology company Illumina.