There may be a cure for covid loss of smell

A team of researchers may have found a better treatment for one of the most common symptoms of long-term Covid: a chronically altered sense of smell. A small study found that many patients improved after a minimally invasive procedure used to treat pain and circulatory problems. In some cases, people’s symptoms disappear completely.

People often experience changes in smell and taste as a result of a respiratory infection, however it took sometime It is widely recognized as a common symptom of Covid-19. Anywhere from 30% to 80% of people infected with Covid-19 may develop smell changes. These include anosmia (partial or complete loss of smell), parosmia (distorted sense of smell, similar to smelling a once-pleasant odor), and pantosmia (smelling things that aren’t there).

Fortunately, smell-related changes caused by Covid-19 are usually self-limiting and disappear after a few weeks. But a significant percentage of people continue to experience smell and taste problems for months or more. November 2021 survey assessed For example, 1.6 million Americans developed Covid-related chronic anosmia in the first two years of the pandemic. There are other studies recommended Chronic anosmia/parosmia is one of the common symptoms of prolonged covid illness.

Although there are possible interventions, early use like this can prevent permanent smell loss Scent training, there are no established treatments for chronic anosmia/parosmia related to Covid. But in a new study to be presented later this month at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), researchers say they may have found one.

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The team decided to treat the patients Star Gang Vol, a procedure in which a local anesthetic is injected into a bundle of nerves located around the neck (stellar ganglion). These nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system governs our body’s involuntary functions, while the sympathetic nerves control our “fight or flight” response to stressful situations. The stellate ganglion is responsible for sending many sympathetic nerve signals to your head, neck, and arms.

Stellate ganglion blocks are commonly used to treat symptoms caused by nerve-related conditions such as shingles, phantom limb pain, or certain types of migraine. The team hypothesizes that these nerves may also play a role in people’s covid-related smell disturbances.

The study involved 54 patients diagnosed with post-Covid parosmia referred to the authors by ear, nose and throat specialists. Patients were initially given a stellate ganglion block on one side of the neck, with a prior CT scan used to determine the best position for insertion. The injection also includes a small amount of steroids, which researchers speculate may help relieve any nerve inflammation caused by the coronavirus.

The authors were able to follow up with 37 patients who received the procedure. Among them, 22 patients (59%) reported improved smell one week after injection, while 18 patients reported continued improvement after one month. Twenty-six patients returned six weeks later for a second injection on the other side of the neck, and most of those who improved after the first dose continued to see improvement after the second dose.

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Overall, the average improvement in symptoms among respondents over the three-month period of the trial was 49%, although some appeared to experience complete recovery.

“The initial patient had an immediate, sustained improvement to the point of symptom resolution at four weeks, which was a tremendously positive outcome,” said Adam Joga, M.D., professor of musculoskeletal radiology at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Report From RSNA. “Throughout the trial, we were surprised at some of the outcomes, including 100% pantosmia resolution in some patients.”

The findings are based on a very small sample size and have not yet gone through the regular peer review process. So now we have to watch with extra caution. And even in the best light, stellate ganglion modules cannot help everyone who has lost their normal sense of smell due to Covid-19. But given the lack of available options, this potential treatment is definitely worth further investigation, the study authors say.

“Other treatments have failed to date,” Joga said. “This injection works.”

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