Brain Changes Seen Six Months After COVID


Male head profile silhouette wearing a blue face mask with coronavirus on the brain. | Image by sulit.photos, Shutterstock

Researchers working with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) have discovered that COVID-19 causes lasting neurological changes up to six months after recovery in some people.

The study, co-authored by Sapna S. Mishra, a Ph.D. candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, sought to leverage “susceptibility-weighted imaging to analyze the effects that COVID-19 has on the brain.” Using the technology, the researchers could then measure the extent to which materials like “blood, iron, and calcium” become magnetized. From there, neurological conditions, like brain tumors and stroke, could be identified and monitored.

“Group-level studies have not previously focused on COVID-19 changes in magnetic susceptibility of the brain despite several case reports signaling such abnormalities,” said Mishra. “Our study highlights this new aspect of the neurological effects of COVID-19 and reports significant abnormalities in COVID survivors.”

The researchers were motivated to better understand the phenomenon of “long COVID” which The Dallas Express has previously reported on. While the symptoms vary, people with the condition typically report sleep trouble, loss of taste, anxiety, depression, headaches, light-headedness, and difficulty focusing, among others. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of U.S. adults have reported developing long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms.

For the study, the authors analyzed the imaging results of 46 COVID-recovered individuals alongside 30 healthy subjects. The imaging was performed within six months of COVID recovery.

The team identified small changes in the recovered subjects’ frontal lobe and brain stem when compared to the healthy patients. These are the same brain regions connected to “fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, and cognitive problems,” explained Mishra.

The authors further noted substantial changes in the brain stem’s “right ventral diencephalon.” This area is responsible for managing the circadian rhythm, releasing hormones, and delivering sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex.

“This study points to serious long-term complications that may be caused by the coronavirus, even months after recovery from the infection,” stressed Mishra.

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Karen Petrus
Karen Petrus
2 months ago

This sounds like a good study. Has the effect of mandated lockdown isolation been factored in, ever looked at? Also, vitamin D deficiency since there may be a different amount of time spent in natural light, in artificial light.

Justin Patrick Rangel ( Coach)
Justin Patrick Rangel ( Coach)
2 months ago

Hello. My name is Justin ( Coach ) I have a very important comment. I live now in a retirement community. The Villages of Dallas. I am living with CTE and long Covid. Might I note. I had CTE TBI PTSD from football and Coaching at risk teens long before Covid. I caught covid when it first came out. So my math is CTE then Covid equals the perfect storm. I live with pain.There is a team of Doctors this case on me. The movie” Concussion” and then medical journal mentioned in it was edited by the same editor who is encouraging me to write a book. As many are encouraging me to do so. It is in progress.

I agree with what was written and more As I live in constant pain inside and out.
Brain is fog thick. Its like broken glass in peanut butter . is would like to see if anyone else is experiencing this. A research has yet to be made on those who struggle with CTE and then got covid.
It is very important that word gets out on this. There are many suffering with this. Those who already had concussion issues and then got covid. They are hurting and struggling and may not know why. It effects the home and family.
I went to hear from you.

Justin Rangel

Last edited 2 months ago by Justin Patrick Rangel ( Coach)
1 month ago

Had any of these Wuhan Virus survivors been “Vaccinated”? I may be cynical, but it seems that people who got the shot early on develop problems they didn’t have before, like headaches, balance, heart issues. I got the virus early on, but didn’t know about until Carter Blood Care started testing for anti-bodies. I donate every 8 weeks and Sept 2021 my report said YES on the Wuhan antibodies. The only lasting effect I’ve noticed is my ability to smell aromas has diminished. I’m 67 yrs old with mild hypertension, but no other co-morbidities.

Matthew Perna
Matthew Perna
1 month ago

Does this study isolate vaccinated vs. unvaccinated? Because in the real world, we are seeing a climbing list of people who have experienced an adverse reaction to the vaccine.