Long COVID: A Potential Form of Brain Injury and its Implications
Recent research is uncovering that Long COVID could potentially be a form of brain injury. This discovery is incredibly significant as it not only deepens our understanding of the disease but also indicates possible neurological effects. It further emphasizes the need for additional studies to fully comprehend and address this aspect of COVID-19. This article will provide an overview of the findings of the latest studies and underline the potential implications of Long COVID on the brain.
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of COVID-19 Survivors
A study published in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience aimed to assess the neuropsychiatric symptoms of quarantined COVID-19 survivors 15 months after discharge. This study included 51 quarantined COVID-19 survivors and 74 healthy controls. The survivors showed signs of cognitive decline when compared to the healthy controls, despite no significant differences in objective cognitive tasks. Further, an increase in gray matter volume and cortical surface area was observed in the left transverse temporal gyrus of survivors, which correlated negatively with cognitive impairment. Additionally, the survivors exhibited decreased neural activity in multiple brain regions and elevated levels of serum inflammatory markers, suggesting a potential mechanism involving inflammation-induced neurogenesis. These findings significantly contribute to understanding the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of COVID-19.
Long-lasting Brain Injury and Cognitive Deficits
Another study, as reported by MedRiva, revealed evidence of long-lasting brain injury in COVID-19 patients. Elevated levels of biomarkers consistent with brain injury and reduced brain volume linked to attention were observed. This could potentially lead to long-term implications like early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study also highlighted the challenges faced by patients in getting their symptoms recognized and receiving appropriate treatment. Additionally, a study on chronic critical illness (CCI) in COVID-19 survivors revealed a high burden of symptoms and limited overall quality of life even one year after discharge, calling for more research and support for long COVID patients.
The Impact of Long COVID on Everyday Life
As discussed in Journal of Medical Case Reports, cognitive deficits and other symptoms persist in patients even 12 months after severe COVID-19 infection, impacting their everyday life significantly. This study emphasized the need for more detailed investigations and rehabilitation programs for these patients, along with further research on the extent of cognitive recovery and the relationship between fatigue and cognitive deficits.
Persistent Symptoms of Long COVID
As per an article in The American Journal of Medicine, ‘long COVID’ refers to persistent symptoms following acute COVID-19 infection. This disease is heterogeneous, with multimorbidities affecting several physiological systems. Factors associated with cognitive impairment in patients with persisting sequelae of COVID-19 are currently being studied, shedding light on the disease’s complexity.
Post Acute Sequelae of SARS COV 2 (PASC)
The growing prevalence of PASC and its impact on patients and society was discussed in Frontiers in Public Health. The study introduced a protocol for virtual education intervention to help manage PASC symptoms. The article highlighted the non-specific nature of PASC symptoms and the need for targeted treatment. It also provided statistics on the prevalence of PASC and its impact on healthcare utilization, social, academic, and vocational functioning, as well as family and financial life, underlining the broad ramifications of this condition.