Covid-19 Infection Can Affect Our Flight-or-Fight Response

Covid-19 Infection Can Affect Our Flight-or-Fight Response
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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives drastically, and since the first outbreak, scientists are analyzing the impact of the virus. Long term Covid has already been identified by health providers, and the virus has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

A new study links the new coronavirus with the disruption of humans’ basic automatic physiological reaction when they feel stressed or frightened: the Fight-or-flight response. 

What is the Fight-or-Flight response?

This automatic physiological reaction called the Fight-or-flight response is an evolutionary adaptation that has increased the chances of human survival. Because this response is triggered in what humans perceive as threatening situations, it must work accordingly. According to a medical journal, if the response is activated too frequently or intense, it could lead to anxiety disorders. If the sympathetic nervous system is not activated properly, then humans could not detect life-threatening situations.  

Young people previously infected with Covid-19 experience a disrupted Fight-or-flight response 

A new study analyzed young people with other health conditions who have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It appears that the infection disrupted their fight-or-flight response. 16 of the 30 participants had suffered a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The nerves of those who had the infection worked harder than the nerves of the others. The study took six months, and the fight-or-flight response of those previously infected with Covid-19 has been classified as abnormally active. 

During the study, the young people were asked to perform several tasks, such as lying down and more. Those who suffered from a covid infection experienced an exaggerated heart rate when they had a change in their blood pressure. Another task was to stick their hands in the cold water. The scientists determined that their muscle nerve activity was lower than the one of the participants who had not suffered from a Covid-19 infection. The study concluded that the virus triggers disruptions of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves work too hard when the person is resting, but not hard enough when confronted with a stressful or dangerous situation. 


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Jeffrey Olmsted

Jeffrey likes to write about health and fitness topics, being a champion fitness instructor in the past.

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