COVID-19 survivors may experience… brain tissue loss

Although you might get a different impression after the intensity of the pandemic, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus still hides many mysteries and we learn something new about it almost every day.

Around the world for some time now, so-called biobanks, or places where donors, both healthy and sick, can donate biological material for research, have been increasing in number, thus contributing to the development of science and medicine, and allowing scientists to better understand phenomena such as the coronavirus pandemic. And it is from a recent study by the UK Biobank, the UK’s largest unit of its kind, that we learn that people who have contracted Covid-19 can unfortunately experience a loss of grey matter over time. We’re talking about a long-term experiment comparing pre-pandemic brain scans from 782 volunteers, which were then contrasted with post-pandemic results from 394 Covid-19 survivors who relapsed and 388 healthy individuals.

In those previously ill with Covid-19, the researchers noted significant effects of the disease on brain tissue, including a loss of gray matter in certain brain regions. What shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone is the areas responsible for smell and taste, among other things, which many people have trouble with during the disease. The brain’s grey matter is the part of the central nervous system that generally controls all brain functions – it allows us to control movement, memory and emotions, so negative changes in this area are not very encouraging. What’s more, the researchers also suggest that defects in memory-related brain regions may increase the risk of such patients developing dementia, as well as heart attacks later on, but this is an issue that requires additional research.

It may be some consolation, however, that the scans that were the basis of the study involved severe and very severe cases of Covid-19, while most people experience them mildly or not at all, so in this case the brain changes may not be there either, or they may be smaller. But we are talking about speculations here, because scientists appeal that there is too little research on the effects of the disease on brain tissue, and this is a fundamental need, and we need to test also the effects of Covid-19 in scanty or asymptomatic patients. Interestingly, there is also still no confirmation as to whether the defects in brain tissue are caused by the spread of the virus in the brain or are already a result of the disease.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Mobile Pedia