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COVID-19 Brain Damage

Does coronavirus damage the brain?

My First Concerns - COVID in the Brain

For me, the light came on while helping a university student to resolve an acute phobia in July.

They said several of their friends had recovered from COVID, but you could tell they'd had it.

I looked confused.

They confirmed that "the cough has gone, but it is as though they're not quite there now."

I looked confused and concerned.

As a qualified mind therapist who tries to help people with their brains, a virus that makes the brain worse does not seem good.

I should note that I'm using COVID, COVID-19, coronavirus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) interchangeably, having seen too many news articles this year.

Also, this blog isn't intended to create alarm or panic. The intent is to help us know what's going on and what the risks are. I have no immediate reason to think it will create a zombie apocalypse in 40 years time.

Does COVID infect the brain?

The world is still learning a lot about COVID-19.

The world is still learning a lot about science and medicine.

For example, Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV, aka alphaherpesvirus 3, aka HHV-3) was linked to chickenpox way back in 1888, and scientists still don't agree whether it can trigger unpleasant shingles many years later.

We do know that COVID knocks out the sense of taste and smell.

More accurately, it causes the brain to be unable to process taste and smell.

It affects the brain.

Back on the 23rd June 2020, the BBC reported "Some scientists suspect that Covid-19 causes respiratory failure and death not through damage to the lungs, but the brain – and other symptoms include headaches, strokes and seizures."

The reading gets heavier.

25th June 2020, researchers at the University of Southampton (UK) found that, of 125 who had tested positive for COVID and assessed, 77 had experienced a cerebrovascular event and 39 "presented with altered mental status". 10 people developed psychosis.

8th July 2020, UK university teams reported one of the first cases of psychosis following Covid. A woman in her 50s, with no psychiatric history, was becoming disoriented and aggressive towards others, seeing lions and monkeys in her house, putting her coat on and off, and was convinced that her husband was an impostor.

1st August 2020, Fudan University in Shanghai, China, reported "revealed possible disruption to micro-structural and functional brain integrity in the recovery stages of COVID-19, suggesting the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2." having previously stated that "Increasing evidence supported the possible neuro-invasion potential of SARS-CoV-2."

Alysson Muotri, a neuroscientist at the University of California, said "The neurological symptoms are only becoming more and more scary"

How bad is this?

Unfortunately, there's still a major lack of data.

The few people who had COVID are unlikely to have undergone psychological or neurological assessments before the infection.

We can't get data more than a year old.

I'll certainly be keeping a close eye on the evolving reports.

I'll also be using my facemask and keeping my distance.

Strange danger is still real.

Mingling with people increases risks.

We just don't know that the impact of those risks are.

The impact might be more than the death of vulnerable people.

What's Next?

If you'd like to share thoughts or be notified about updates, please get in touch:

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Keywords: Covid, covid-19, coronavirus, brain, damage.