How Covid-19 affects the brain

Covid-19, the pathology of the brain? The question may seem inappropriate. In two years, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has infected 452 million people and has already caused 6 million deaths, officially showed color: it infects us through the nose and through the throat; Through the lungs it kills us. In two words, respiratory illness. However, the more time passed, the more doctors and researchers discovered that the pathogen affects other organs. Damage to the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, or even the heart has been demonstrated. But now, above all, the effects of Covid-19 on the brain are the focus of many teams around the world.

In January, Serena Spodich and Avendra Nath, researchers respectively at Yale University and the American Institutes of Health, noted: in the magazine to knowThe “Countless neurological complications that emerged during the acute stages of the disease”. Stroke, delirium, encephalitis, encephalopathy or even disorientation, neuromuscular disorders … the list of diseases noted to make it impressive. In particular, they insist, “Many of the people with these neurological symptoms are under 50 years old and seemed healthy before the injury.”.

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But these severe forms are not the only cause. Thus, the researchers recall the various neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the so-called “Long Covid”. Difficulties with memory, concentration, headache, fatigue and poor touch “At worst delirium and paranoia.” “The heterogeneity of these symptoms and the difficulty in distinguishing between what is directly related to SARS-CoV-2 or a pre-existing pathology exacerbated by the virus presents a formidable challenge in understanding the mechanisms involved,” they write.

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It also invites us to consider the risks of seeing the virus accelerate or even cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in the elderly. Finally, they consider it necessary to monitor the long-term consequences of pediatric inflammatory polyposis syndromes (PIMS) that have been observed in some children. “The full range of long-term neurological complications of the disease has not yet been realized,” they concluded.

Significant decrease in gray matter

Covid, “Long Covid”, PIMS … If the brain damage affects several categories of infected people, at least it seems that these are still in the minority so far, consisting of the most severe cases. Moreover, observations made after the incident did not provide confirmation that these were direct consequences of infection. Perhaps the worm was already in the fruit. British study published Tuesday 7 March in review natureraises these two reservations and thus makes the picture a little darker.

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