No evidence of Covid-19 making the brain older

KABUL (Pajhwok): Medical experts say that Covid-19 causes severe mental problems and deeply affects the human brain. Research-based reports suggest the coronavirus makes the brain 20 years older.

The website Monitor-News released two days ago a report titled “Brain gets 20-years older as a result of Covid-19.”.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that Covid can affect cognitive abilities and the human brain.

Also, Iran’s Analytical News Agency carried a report titled: “Bad news for those who have recovered from Covid-19.”

The report reads: “A study conducted by scientists at the Imperial College in London and the University of Cambridge found a persistent cognitive deficiency in hospitalised patients, showing the brain age gets 20 years older.”

Prof. David Menon from the Division of Anesthesia at the University of Cambridge, a senior author of the study, said: “Cognitive impairment is common to a wide range of neurological disorders, including dementia, and even routine ageing. But the patterns we saw – the cognitive ‘fingerprint’ of COVID-19 – was distinct from all of these.”

Survivors scored particularly poorly on tasks such as verbal analogical reasoning, a finding that supports the commonly-reported problem of difficulty in finding words.

The Tejarat News website also published a report “Researchers’ bad news about Covid/severe Covid makes the brain 20 years older.”

The researchers reportedly analysed the cognitive abilities of 46 patients hospitalised with severe Covid-19 after six months and obtained new information.

Another website, “Sarposh-i-Fazeshki” also released a similar report. “In the research published by eClinicalMedicine, researchers analysed data from 46 individuals with severe Covid who received in-hospital care. Sixteen patients were put on ventilators during their stay in hospital.

The individuals underwent detailed computerised cognitive tests on an average of six months after their acute illness using the cognition platform. The age of each person with Covid was classified and compared demographically with healthy individuals.

But, Dr. Nabil Paktin, a cardiologist, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “This is not a valid study or research, because it has been done on a small number of people. Research should be more time-consuming, experimental and interventional.

“Interventional results are very effective in the long run.”

“Coronavirus survivors, who had mild or severe symptoms and their brain getting 20 to 30 years older is not an accurate study,” he remarked.

‌Before this research, many doctors had similar theories that Covid had a negative effect on the brain, he added.

Referring to the pieces he published on the subject, he said: “We have seen many such articles before and published a magazine and lot of effects and disorders as Covid affects the nose, heart and lungs.”

He added that Covid causes mental problems in order parts of the body and cognitive in people and in some people it was reversible but in some, it might last.

Dr. Ebadullah Ebad, an official at the Afghan-Japan Hospital, told Pajhwok he did not know how much research has been conducted on the issue and how accurate it was.

Dr. Ebad added the Afghan-Japan Hospital had also conducted research on Covid patients. Doctors who contracted the virus would share the result of their research.

Asma Ahmadi, a student of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at a private university, said: “After the coronavirus spread, I tested positive but after some days. I recovered. After a while, I experienced mental and psychological problems, which hurt me a lot.”

The loss of appetite, lack of sleep and shortness of breath were some of the symptoms she had. But after medical treatment from a psychiatrist, her health improved.

Pajhwok tried to get the Ministry of Public Health’s view in this regard, but failed.


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