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COVID-19 and the Brain: What Do We Know?

covid-19 and the brain

Neurophysiologists believe that coronavirus infection often does not penetrate the brain tissue, but it does weaken the walls of small vessels inside. As a result of brain dysfunction, people are monitored more often for strokes.

 

“Observations show:  due to inflammatory factors that are associated with the penetration of the virus into the patient’s system,” explained one of the authors of the work, a researcher at the National Institute of Central Nervous System Disorders and Stroke (USA) Ravindra Nath.

 

The virus can enter the brain and disrupt its functioning, causing acute brain dysfunction.

In a new study, Nat, a scientist, and his colleagues have suggested why some of these problems arise. These scientists studied in detail how the state of the circulatory system of the brain changed in several dozen COVID-19 patients who died between March and July this year.

What is the reason for brain dysfunction?

What is the reason for brain dysfunction

All these patients died very quickly and unexpectedly. The causes of their death were not always related to the penetration of SARS-CoV-2 into their lungs. Initial analysis showed that their deaths were associated with brain damage. However, how this damage appeared, scientists do not know.

 

Nate and his colleagues assumed that the patients died due to the coronavirus getting into their central nervous system. Testing this hypothesis, biologists have studied the structure and properties of the sense of smell and the brain stem.

 

The MRI scans showed that there were many foci of inflammation and minor bleeding in both areas of the brain; that is the walls of small capillaries and other vessels that are permeable to blood and the proteins it contains. Scientists examined sections of these parts of the nervous system in the hope of finding virus particles in them and finding out the death of vascular and brain cells.

 

“We expected to see traces of damage from infection and chronic oxygen deprivation. Instead, there was a lot of damage to normal nerve tissue, which is usually used after strokes or inflammation of the brain,” explained Nat.

 

As a result, “holes” appeared in them, only some of which were filled with blood clots and microglia (protective tissue of the brain), which leads to brain dysfunction.

The capillaries of the brain collapsed not due to infection with SARS-CoV-2 but because of the very high activity of the immune system, which began to attack not only the virus but also healthy cells of the blood vessels. 

 

Scientists hope that observing patients’ health, memory, or intellectual abilities, which have deteriorated after coronavirus infection, will help understand how long the damage to the brain vessels persists and choose a therapy that could prevent their appearance or eliminate them.

Human brain and coronavirus:

The coronavirus affects the brain in two ways. Firstly, the coronavirus affects not only the lungs but also the brain, and as a result, causes acute brain dysfunction. Now there are more and more European studies that show that patients can significantly damage the brain. And in inpatients, we even see a state of delirium and psychomotor agitation, even though these are people who have never consumed anything alcohol. This reaction is due to the coronavirus and, of course, to a lack of oxygen.

 

Not only can coronavirus affect the brain, but also oxygen deficiency. When a person has nothing to breathe, their lungs do not work well, and their brain experiences hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen. And the consequences of this in patients persist for a long time. In principle, such consequences may persist for up to 6-7 months.

 

Scientists from several countries are planning to do a huge study into how long a person’s brain and central nervous system can remain damaged after infection with coronavirus. Therefore, experts want to study whether the virus can lead to cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or other forms of dementia.

 

There is currently no evidence that the coronavirus can cause Alzheimer’s in the future. But scientists have already discovered that the virus is able to enter the brain. There is already the first evidence that the coronavirus is able to infect neurons in the brain through the mucous membranes after passing through the nose. Previous research also suggests that COVID-19 can cause delirium, stroke, and even paralysis.

Scientists from Brazil find out that:

Scientists from Brazil find out that

Coronavirus is capable of damaging the most important cells of the brain and central nervous system – astrocytes and microglia, scientists from Brazil found out. This damage can lead to schizophrenia, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In addition, this also explains the symptoms of COVID-19, such as headaches, seizures, and loss of smell.

SARS-CoV-2 resembles astrocytes, so the brain does not recognize it as a foreign agent. By themselves, astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain in creating and storing information about long-term memory.

 

Among the most frequent lesions of the central nervous system by viruses that are described in foreign publications are meningitis, encephalitis, and acute cerebrovascular accident. If we talk about symptoms, these are impaired consciousness, epileptic seizures, headache, dizziness, and other disturbances of consciousness.

 

The coronavirus also causes hypoxia in the brain and decreases the number of synapses.

Often, disorders in the central nervous system and the brain occur due to the fact that the psychosomatics of a person is severely damaged during an illness, and what is happening around, a person is afraid and as a result, this leads to mental disorders.

 

The fear that this infection creates clearly worsens the course of many chronic diseases and can take its toll on the brain. Fear is a very powerful negative emotion.

 

Meanwhile, researchers from Brazil also found that coronavirus causes changes in the brain, not only in severe cases of the disease but also in patients with a mild form. With a mild course of infection, the patient may not even notice that something is happening to their brain.

 

Symptoms can then occur, such as memory loss, severe fatigue, autonomic symptoms, taste perversion, lack of sleep, nausea, and then they can not be noticed, which is already to speak at an early stage.

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Lone Star Neurology
4.4
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Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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