Even in mild COVID-19 can infect the brain: what you need to know

According to the British neurologists, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious damage to the brain and Central nervous system and cause psychosis, paralysis or stroke. About it writes DW.

Даже при легкой форме COVID-19 может поражать мозг: что нужно знать

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In the last time there was ample evidence that the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is actively attacking not only the lungs and respiratory tract, but other organs of the human body. Heavy damage can also be inflicted on the heart, blood vessels, nervous tissue and skin.

British neurologists published in the journal Brain shocking evidence that coronavirus can cause severe brain damage even in patients with mild symptoms COVID-19 or those who have recovered.

Neurologists at University College London was diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in more than 40 British patients with COVID-19. This inflammatory disease leads to degenerative destruction of the Central nervous system that affects the so-called myelin sheath of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Various consequences of the disease COVID-19

Twelve of these patients suffered from inflammation of the Central nervous system, ten from transient encephalopathy (brain disease) with delusions or psychosis, eight had a stroke, for eight — nerve damage, mainly with Guillain-Barre syndrome. It is an autoimmune reaction that attacks nerve cells, causing paralysis and in 5% of cases ends in death. Because of these complications died one of the patients at the age of 59 years.

“COVID-19 attacks the brain the way we have not seen none of the earlier viruses,” said the study’s lead author and consultant, University College London Michael Zandi. Are unusual severe brain injury even in patients with mild symptoms.

New clinical studies of diseases caused by coronavirus, confirmed fears that some patients COVID-19 may cause long-term health problems. Many patients feel shortness of breath and fatigue even long after recovery. Other survivors suffer from numbness of the limbs, weakness, problems with memory.

“From the point of view of biology from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis there are similarities with multiple sclerosis, but it is heavier. Some patients begin a long health problems, others well restored,” said Zandi.

The scale of complications remains to be seen

He also added that the entire range is caused by SARS-CoV-2 diseases and complications even, probably not even identified, because many patients are in hospitals too severe to make his studies of the brain or carry out other procedures.

“We would like to draw the attention of doctors all over the world for these complications of coronavirus,” said Zandi. According to him, patients with cognitive impairment, memory problems, fatigue, deafness or weakness should always consult with a neurologist.

Shocking examples

Also published alarming isolated cases from practice. For example, 47-year-old woman after a week of coughing and high temperature suddenly felt headache and numbness of the right hand. In the hospital she became sleepy and on what does not react. During emergency surgery she had to remove part of the skull to reduce pressure due to swelling of the brain.

55-year-old patient, who previously suffered from a mental illness, on the day of discharge from the hospital started to act strange. She wore and removed his coat again and again, then she started hallucinating, she saw monkeys and lions. In the hospital she was prescribed antipsychotic medication.

Thousands of cases of brain damage in the “Spanish flu”

British neurologists fear that some patients COVID-19 can leave such brain damage that will only become visible in subsequent years. According to the study, such complications were in patients also after the disastrous Spanish flu of 1918-1920. Probably almost a million people were also complications such as brain damage.

“Of course, we hope that this will not happen. But again, we are faced with a pandemic of this magnitude that will affect a large part of the population, we need to be ready,” — said Michael Zandi.


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