Mysterious Lasting Effects of Covid-19 in the Brain

Mysterious Lasting Effects of Covid-19 in the Brain

Dr. Avindra Nath intends to learn everything about the brains affected by the Covid-19 phenomenon. Therefore, his job is being around brains on a daily basis.

He wants to understand what the viruses did to patients’ brains, how it modified tissues, and what sequels it leaves behind.


The researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, thinks that the brain’s involvement is prevalent in this matter.

He created his report studying the brains donated by family members, brains belonging to Covid-19 patients that died quickly and unexpectedly.

One of his most rated projects targeted a better understanding why many Covid-19 patients continued to feel lingering symptoms such as fever, headaches, brain fog and shortness of breath for months, long after the infection was over.

It has been estimated that 10 to 30 percent of the 28 million Covid-19 cases in the United States could create prolonged convalescence periods after the infection ended. This fact implies that 8.4 million people will suffer sequels similar to being sick.

The study consists of 30 brain samples belonging to different-age patients, from 5 to 80, who died in a long-term facility or at home because of Covid-19. These samples have been examined with the strongest magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, which provided pioneering details.

The Theories

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told NBC News that the study comes up with several debatable theories. Blood clots? Immune system malfunctions? What triggers these never-ending symptoms?

“This is all hands on deck. If any organization on the planet can figure this out, it’s NIH.” stated Collins. 

The team of scientists looked forward to a lasting virus in the brain or other hints. However, they found extensive inflammation and a protein called fibrinogen that usually leads to blood clots.

The discovery has a large number of implications because fibrinogen is not usually located in the brain. This could explain some of the associated symptoms, such as brain fog. The protein’s presence implies that the little blood clots cut on oxygen’s level, causing a varied palette of Covid-19 indicators.

“We think the brain pathology is a critical part of the illness and probably causing the demise of a number of these patients.” 

However, this is just one of the many possible explanations of the bizarre phenomenon, and blood clots in the brain might not be the single one responsible for it.

In Search of ‘Long-Haulers’ 

The scientists’ team is looking for ‘long-haulers’, the people who contracted the disease Covid-12 and continued to have symptoms for a longer time than expected. With a funding of $1.15 billion from Congress, science wants to declutter the mystery of PASC, “Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The word “sequelae” comes from Latin, and it refers to a pathological condition resulting from a prior disease, injury, or attack. 

Another NIH research is aimed to spot the modifications that took place in the nervous system of people that got rid of Covid-19, but symptoms didn’t stop. A second project wants to determine what biomarker points out the vulnerability to this phenomenon and what category is at greater risk, such as getting ill and never fully recover. Dr. Daniel Chertow that conducts the NIH’study, is at the moment searching for more patients volunteers. The primary center of attention will be images of the brain, heart, lungs, and fluid samples from the lungs.
Chertow added:


 ”It’s going to take time,” and he “shares the drive to get answers as soon as humanly possible.”

Collins also said:

“I promise you we are all in on this. There will be no stones left unturned.”

Source: What brains could teach scientists about the lasting effects of Covid-19


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