COVID-19 can cause brain shrinkage, memory loss - study

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A patient suffering from Long COVID is examined in the post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) clinic of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 21, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (Reuters) - COVID-19 can cause the brain to shrink, reduce grey matter in the regions that control emotion and memory, and damage areas that control the sense of smell, an Oxford University study has found. The scientists said that the effects were even seen in people who had not been hospitalised with COVID, and whether the impact could be partially reversed or if they would persist in the long term needed further investigation. "There is strong evidence for brain-related abnormalities in COVID-19," the researchers said in their study, which was released on Monday. Even in mild cases, participants in the research showed "a worsening of executive function" responsible for focus and organising, and on an average brain sizes shrank between 0.2% and 2%. The peer-reviewed study, published in the Nature journal, investigated brain changes in 785 participants aged 51–81 whose brains were scanned twice, including 401 people who caught COVID between their two scans. The second scan was done on average 141 days after the first scan. The study was conducted when the Alpha variant was dominant in Britain and is unlikely to include anyone infected with the Delta variant. Studies have found some people who had COVID suffered from "brain fog" or mental cloudiness that included impairment to attention, concentration, speed of information processing and memory. The researchers did not say if vaccination against COVID had any impact on the condition but the UK Health Security Agency said last month that a review of 15 studies found that vaccinated people were about half as likely to develop symptoms of long COVID compared with the unvaccinated. Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

COVID-19 can cause brain shrinkage, memory loss - study
COVID-19 can cause brain shrinkage, memory loss - study© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A patient suffering from Long COVID is examined in the post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) clinic of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 21, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

(Reuters) - COVID-19 can cause the brain to shrink, reduce grey matter in the regions that control emotion and memory, and damage areas that control the sense of smell, an Oxford University study has found.

The scientists said that the effects were even seen in people who had not been hospitalised with COVID, and whether the impact could be partially reversed or if they would persist in the long term needed further investigation.

"There is strong evidence for brain-related abnormalities in COVID-19," the researchers said in their study, which was released on Monday.

Even in mild cases, participants in the research showed "a worsening of executive function" responsible for focus and organising, and on an average brain sizes shrank between 0.2% and 2%.

The peer-reviewed study, published in the Nature journal, investigated brain changes in 785 participants aged 51–81 whose brains were scanned twice, including 401 people who caught COVID between their two scans. The second scan was done on average 141 days after the first scan.

The study was conducted when the Alpha variant was dominant in Britain and is unlikely to include anyone infected with the Delta variant.

Studies have found some people who had COVID suffered from "brain fog" or mental cloudiness that included impairment to attention, concentration, speed of information processing and memory.

The researchers did not say if vaccination against COVID had any impact on the condition but the UK Health Security Agency said last month that a review of 15 studies found that vaccinated people were about half as likely to develop symptoms of long COVID compared with the unvaccinated.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.