Covid-19 shrinks brain, causes neurological syndromes

KABUL (Pajhwok): A fresh research has revealed that Covid-19 shrinks human brain and individuals tested positive for respiratory virus should refer to neurosurgeons after recovery from the virus, according to health experts on Sunday.

Associate Professor Dr. Nabil Pakteen while referring to the fresh global research on Covid-19 effects on human brain said since the inception of Covid-19 virus it was known that besides hampering the respiratory system, the virus negatively impacted human brain.

When a person suffers from a respiratory viral illness, even a small one, it can cause neurological and psychological problems for the person, he said while referring to spillover effects of chronic respiratory diseases.

According to the new research carried out in the United Kingdom, he said individuals who suffered from Covid-19 witnessed 0.2% gray matter shrinkage, darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord.

In the brain study, researchers at the University of Oxford studied 785 people aged between 51 and 81 who had received brain scans before and during the pandemic as part of the UK Biobank study. More than half of them tested positive for Covid between the two scans, according to a report in the Guardian.

Compared with 384 uninfected control subjects, those who tested positive for Covid had greater overall brain shrinkage and more grey matter shrinkage, particularly in areas linked to smell. For example, those who had Covid lost an additional 1.8% of the parahippocampalgyrus, a key region for smell, and an additional 0.8% of the cerebellum, compared with control subjects.

Disrupted signal processing in such areas may contribute to symptoms such as smell loss. Those who were infected also typically scored lower on a mental skills test than uninfected individuals. Lower scores were associated with a greater loss of brain tissue in the parts of the cerebellum involved in mental ability.

Pakteen said parts related to the sense of smell, intellectual and cognitive systems are more targeted, and this gray matter becomes lighten in these parts and can affect the respiratory system, cognitive system, mood, behavior and even the nervous and mental system, which is the result of total brain acid. Disrupt, and have direct effects on the nervous system.

He said: “Those who come out of critical phase, then the only thing left are post-Covid-19 syndromes that in terms of mood, behavior, sense of smell and cognition and general abilities can make a person get chronic post-Covid-19 syndrome.”

He said medical advises are implemented in every part of the world, vulnerable people should be isolated, masked, socially isolated, and given the corona vaccine to reduce the severity of the disease

The effects were more pronounced in older people and those hospitalised by the disease, but still evident in others whose infections were mild or asymptomatic, the research suggested, which was published in the journal Nature.

Some residents complain post-Covid-19 syndromes

Zarlasht, a resident of Kabul’s Shahr-e-Naw, said she once contracted Covid-19 and suffered from mental problem after recovery.

After recovering from Covid-19, she developed anxiety issues and would get angry soon.

“I would not like to stay among people, get tired soon in gathering, get headache and therefore I try to leave that place,” said Zarlasht.

She said four times she referred to medical doctor and got medicine but during medicine course she is fine and when medicine finishes similar problems develop again.

Shakaib, another resident of Kabul City, said his father after twice contracting Covid-19 recovered but he got anxiety and memory loss problem.

“He had good memory, never forget things but after he suffered from Covid-19 he developed anxiety and memory loss problems,” he said.

According to medical doctors, he added, the reason behind his memory loss and anxiety was the negative impact of Covid-19 virus on his father’s brain.


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