Coronavirus: how extreme is the effect of the disease on your brain?

The size of the brain decreases in people suffering from Covid-19. The gray matter also changes. This is what scientists from Oxford found out in a corona study. “There is strong evidence of brain-related abnormalities in Covid-19,” they share.

The results were published in the journal “Nature”. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach shared the study on Twitter a few months ago with the words: “No one likes to hear that”.

Study from Oxford: Brain can shrink after corona infection

The researchers investigated two groups: One contracted Corona, the other did not. It was noticeable that the overall size of the brain in the Covid sufferers decreased more than in those who had not been infected with the virus.

It is quite normal for people to lose a very small portion of their gray matter each year as they age. In regions related to memory, the annual loss is between 0.2 and 0.3 percent. However, the brain size of the infected study participants shrank by between 0.2 and 2 percent on average.

Gray matter is the term used to describe parts of the central nervous system that mainly contain nerve cell bodies – colloquially we also speak of “grey cells”. There were also signs of tissue damage in brain regions responsible for smell. Some of the Covid sufferers suffered from impairments in attention, concentration, the speed of information processing and memory.

Brain changes even with mild Covid 19 courses

The scientists also pointed out that the effects could also be observed when the people treated in the hospital with severe courses were excluded from the analysis. The effects were also evident in mild corona courses.

No statement however, she was able to whether the changes in the brain can be reversed or whether they are long-term. Further research would have to be carried out for this.

An evaluation of a number of studies by the British health authority has shown that Vaccinated people showed symptoms of long-Covid disease only about half as often as unvaccinated people. This study did not examine whether a Covid vaccination has an effect on changes in the brain.

For further reading: These corona rules apply in Bavaria

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