Are you a Covid-19 survivor and suffering from symptoms you never had before such as confusion, word-finding difficulties, short-term memory loss, dizziness, or inability to concentrate?
Then, you may just be experiencing impaired cognition.
According to a report in National Geographic, one in every four Covid-19 survivors from 80 million Americans who were infected with the virus, suffers from impaired cognition or brain fog.
The report said patients who have been hospitalised due to the virus are almost three times likely to have impaired cognition.
More alarmingly, the report added that brain scans now reveal that even a mild case of Covid-19 can shrink part of the brain, causing physical changes equivalent to a decade of aging!
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine neurologist Ayush Batra was quoted in the report as saying that there is evidence of persistent neurologic injury after Covid-19.
“We are seeing biological and biochemical evidence of it, we are seeing radiographic evidence of it, and most importantly, the patients are complaining of their symptoms. It is affecting their quality of life and day-to-day functioning,” he said.
UK researchers have also conducted a study on neurological damage after mild Covid-19 as part of the U.K. Biobank project.
Via the project, they scanned 785 participants, between the ages of 51 and 81 before the pandemic, and three years apart. A total of 401 had been infected with Covid-19, out of which, only 15 were hospitalised.
The result revealed that after four and half months, survivors who had mild Covid-19 had lost between 0.2 and 2 percent of brain volume. They also had thinner gray matter than healthy people.
Meanwhile, in the part of the brain linked to smell, they suffered from 0.7 percent more tissue damage compared to healthy people.
The survivors also performed more poorly on cognitive tests as compared to before the illness where they took 8 and 12 per cent longer on the two tests that measured attention, visual screening ability, and processing speed.
“We don't know exactly what's going on in the brain. Perhaps the damage COVID-19 causes in the brain will evolve into various neurodegenerative disorders.
“We don't know that for sure at the moment, but it is a risk, and we need to follow [the patients] very carefully for the years to come,” Jacques Hugon, a neurologist at University of Paris Lariboisiere Hospital said.
The repost added that in rare cases, Covid-19 is capable of damaging the brain by causing encephalitis, a form of brain inflammation and could also lead to severe immune response.
So, don’t let your guards down yet!