The two neuroscientists who explained the effect of COVID-19 on the brain are Trevor Kilpatrick and Steven Petrou!
At this moment, the experts are worried about the emergence of a syndrome named long COVID, where a considerable percentage of COVID-19 sufferers face long-lasting symptoms.
Studies claim that symptoms remain on 5-15% of confirmed coronavirus cases, three to four months after the infection.
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The risk of long-lasting symptoms can’t be linked with the age or severity of the disease. Many young individuals can still have long-lasting consequences of COVID-19 infection.
Some of them start quickly and persist, and others appear after the infection has passed.
Among the symptoms are extreme fatigue and breathing complications.
The neuroscientists are concerned about how many coronavirus sufferers report concentration, focus, and brain fog difficulties.
How does this disease affect the brain?
Many evidence shared that respiratory viruses and flu can lead to brain dysfunction. In the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, there were reports of dementia, cognitive decline, and movement/sleep difficulties as a consequence of the disease.
SARS-outbreak evidence in 2002 and MERS outbreak in 2012 show that the infections caused 15-20% of recovered individuals to struggle with depression, anxiety, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
We don’t have proof that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID, can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, protecting the brain from blood-borne molecules entering from the bloodstream.
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We have data that shows it may hitchhike into the brain by the nerves that link the nose to the brain.
Researchers think this is happening because, in the infected adults, the virus genetic material is in the nose that starts the process of smell, coinciding with the smell loss typical for COVID-19 infections.
The nasal sensory cells link to a brain zone called the limbic system, involved in emotion, learning, and memory.
UK study shared one pre-print online in June, where experts compared brain images taken of people before and after coronavirus infection. From the pictures, we can see limbic system’s part has decreased in size. It rings the alarm of further brain diseases vulnerability!
Furthermore, it affects the brain indirectly by damaging the blood vessels and cause bleeding or blockages.
Also, the virus activated the immune system that triggers the production of toxic molecules that reduce brain function.
Evidence on this topic still emerges, but indeed, COVID-19 causes brain damages!
Nevertheless, the virus compromises the pituitary gland function. It is known as the master gland that regulates hormone production, cortisol, responsible for stress. Damage to this gland causes fatigue!
The negative influence that coronavirus causes on the brain and other parts of our organism is concerning and huge!
We have so many unanswered questions about the long-lasting effect of COVID on our organs. The crucial thing is to realize what causes the variation in symptoms because so many factors are involved, including vital strain,
infection severity, the pre-existing disease effect, age, etc.
We have to do whatever is possible to stop the spread of the virus.