Covid-19: Even in mild forms, the virus reduces brain volume

The neurological consequences of Covid-19 infection have already been looked at, but the study has just provided “strong evidence”. A new British work, the results of which were published on Monday, March 7, 2022 in the journal nature, proof of existenceBrain related diseasesAfter the virus has passed, the affected brain areas are identified.

These lesions could have been localized at the level of ‘gray matter’, corresponding to the nervous system, which would explain the loss of taste and smell in many affected people. In 80% of the serious cases analyzed, this brain damage could also be detected In mild forms of Covid-19and it would lead to an abnormal decrease in brain volume after injury.

Important results for people over 50

To perform the experiment, scientists at the University of Oxford in Britain retrieved a pair of brain scans 785 people between the ages of 51 and 81. Among them, 401 contracted the Covid-19 virus, mainly via the alpha variant that was prevalent in the UK at the time of the study. The first scanner was done before the pandemic, and the second scanner was printed three years after this, after contamination.

Whether they are hospitalized or not, it has been shown that the passage of Covid-19 has resulted in “aNo more loss and degradation of gray matter‘, than in the uninfected, says study author Gwenaëlle Douaud. In total, 80% of the MRI images showed these severe forms. Neurological symptomswhich is also noticeable in the vast majority of other patients, although they have mild forms.

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decrease in brain volume

Contrary to popular belief, theanosmie (loss of smell) is a more worrisome symptom than it sounds. This deterioration in the advanced nervous system in the study, the researchers say, would pay more attention to “regions of the brain associated with smell and memory.”olfactory nerve attack With the virus, it will not just be a “stuffy nose”.

Ultimately, these pests can be damaged between 0.2 and 2% of brain tissueand reduce the overall size of the brain.

Already in May 2021, Scientists from the Pasteur Institute, the National Center for Scientific Research, INSERM, the University of Paris and APHP put forward the hypothesis The association between the attack on this olfactory nerve and the development of clinical manifestations of a neurological nature, such as “cognitive decline”, or “susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease”.

Currently, if the British study Not to say that these effects are irreversible, Other work in progress should be able to confirm whether young people have also been affected by this damage.


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