Se­vere COVID-19 can dam­age brain, pre­lim­i­nary study finds Apre­lim­i­nary

Iran Daily - - Health & Wellness -

study of pa­tients hos­pi­tal­ized with COVID-19 has found the dis­ease can dam­age the brain, caus­ing com­pli­ca­tions such as stroke, in­flam­ma­tion, psy­chosis and de­men­tia-like symp­toms in some se­vere cases.

The find­ings are the first de­tailed look at a range of neu­ro­log­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions of COVID-19, the re­searchers said, and un­der­line a need for larger stud­ies to find the mech­a­nisms be­hind them and as­sist the search for treat­ments, Reuters re­ported.

“This (is) an im­por­tant snap­shot of the brain-re­lated com­pli­ca­tions of COVID-19 in hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients. It is crit­i­cally im­por­tant that we con­tinue to col­lect this in­for­ma­tion to re­ally un­der­stand this virus fully,” said Sarah Pett, a Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don pro­fes­sor who co-led the work.

The study, pub­lished in the Lancet Psy­chi­a­try jour­nal, looked in de­tail at 125 cases from across the UK. Co-lead re­searcher Bene­dict Michael, from Liver­pool Univer­sity, said it was im­por­tant to note that it fo­cused on se­vere cases.

Data was col­lected be­tween April 2 and April 26 — when the dis­ease was spread­ing ex­po­nen­tially in the UK.

The most com­mon brain com­pli­ca­tion seen was stroke, which was re­ported in 77 of 125 pa­tients. Of these, most were in pa­tients over 60, and most were caused by a blood clot in the brain, known as an is­chemic stroke.

The study also found that 39 of the 125 pa­tients showed signs of con­fu­sion or changes in be­hav­ior re­flect­ing an al­tered men­tal state. Of these, nine had un­spec­i­fied brain dys­func­tion, known as en­cephalopa­thy, and seven had in­flam­ma­tion of the brain, or en­cephali­tis.

Michael said the find­ings were an im­por­tant early step to­wards defin­ing COVID-19’S ef­fect on the brain. “We now need de­tailed stud­ies to un­der­stand the pos­si­ble bi­o­log­i­cal mech­a­nisms ... so we can ex­plore po­ten­tial treat­ments,” he said.

REUTERS

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