Detecting new effects of Covid-19 on the human brain

Research from Sweden shows that after contracting Covid-19, the patient's brain removes a large number of synapses, thereby increasing the risk of mental disorders.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, was carried out by experts from Sweden and a hospital affiliated to Harvard University, USA. They tried to dig deeper into the effects of Covid-19 on the nervous system by creating "brain organoids". These are miniature brains about the size of a needle. Then they infected them with the virus.

Normally, the brain removes a number of synapses that are no longer needed to make room for new ones. However, in people with Covid-19, the brain has removed too many synapses or connections between brain cells that allow them to communicate.

"A similar amount of synapse loss is seen in people with schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. This may be why many people with prolonged Covid-19 have neurological symptoms and people who have been infected with nCoV are at risk. develop neurological disorders higher than uninfected people," Fortune quoted on November 6.

Some studies on people who died of Covid-19 have also shown that the virus can kill neurons, reduce the thickness of gray matter in the brain and cause synaptic deficits, the team said.

Covid-19 can affect the human brain. Photo: Fortune

Previously, experts have proven that people with Covid-19 have a high risk of complications such as stroke, memory problems, depression, anxiety and often migraines. More than a third of people who have been infected with the virus report neurological symptoms, according to the Journal of Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease .

Some patients experience tremors, movement problems, involuntary muscle contractions, seizures, hearing and vision problems, loss of balance, and a combination of Parkinson's-like symptoms. The most common neurological symptoms are brain fog, headaches, confusion, sleep disturbances, emotional disturbances, problems with smell and taste, and disturbances in blood metabolism.

Currently, nearly 20% of adults in the US, or 50 million people, have a persistent Covid-19 condition, according to a report by the US Census Bureau this summer.

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), persistent Covid-19 is symptoms that appear after an acute infection or persist since a patient has been infected with the virus. Currently, there is no specific drug for a prolonged Covid situation, patients are mainly treated according to symptoms.

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