The Washington Post: Scientists Begin to Unravel the Mysteries of the Coronavirus and Brains

In the coronavirus pandemic’s early weeks, in neuropathology departments around the world, scientists wrestled with a question: Should they cut open the skulls of patients who died of covid-19 and extract their brains?

Autopsy staff at Columbia University in New York were hesitant. Sawing into bone creates dust, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning about the bodies of covid patients — airborne debris from autopsies could be an infectious hazard.

But as more patients were admitted and more began to die, researchers decided to “make all the efforts we could to start collecting the brain tissue,” Columbia neuropathologist Peter D. Canoll said.

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