Mild COVID Can Produce Changes in the Brain, New Study Suggests

Mild COVID Can Produce Changes in the Brain, New Study Suggests
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Most people are tempted to not take COVID infection too seriously as long as they develop mild symptoms or none at all. There are numerous studies explaining why that’s a dangerous way of thinking.

CNN writes about a new study published in the journal Nature. It claims that even a mild case of COVID could lead to the patient dealing with changes in the brain, including accelerated aging of the organ.

Former COVID patients have higher loss of gray matter and brain tissue abnormalities

If the new study is correct, those who dealt with a COVID infection have a higher loss of gray matter and brain tissue abnormalities compared to those who had not been infected. Unsurprisingly, many of the changes were in the area that has to do with the sense of smell. Perhaps everybody knows by now that losing the sense of smell is one of the common COVID symptoms.

Gwenaëlle Douaud, the lead author of the study, explained as CNN quotes:

Since the abnormal changes we see in the infected participants’ brains might be partly related to their loss of smell, it is possible that recovering it might lead to these brain abnormalities becoming less marked over time. Similarly, it is likely that the harmful effects of the virus (whether direct, or indirect via inflammatory or immune reactions) decrease over time after infection. The best way to find out would be to scan these participants again in one or two years’ time.

For the study, the researchers analyzed brain imaging belonging to 401 individuals who dealt with COVID. The results gathered were compared to 384 individuals who had not been infected with the coronavirus. Both groups of people were part of the UK Biobank, and they were similar in age, risk factors, and social economics. 

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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