Using a special type of MRI, the researchers found changes in the brains of COVID-19 patients up to six months after they recovered from the infection.
According to the study, the results of which will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), about one in five adults will develop long-term effects from Covid-19. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— BioNews Center (@bionewscentral) November 21, 2022
Neurological symptoms associated with “long-term Covid” include difficulty thinking or concentrating, headaches, trouble sleeping, dizziness, tingling, changes in smell and taste, and depression or anxiety.
However, studies have shown that “Covid-19” may be associated with changes in the heart, lungs, or other organs, even in asymptomatic patients.
As more people become infected and recover from COVID-19, research is beginning to focus on the long-term effects of the disease.
In this study, researchers used susceptibility weighted imaging to analyze the effects of COVID-19 on the brain.
This method is based on magnetic susceptibility, or magnetic susceptibility, which indicates how much certain materials such as blood, iron, and calcium become magnetized in an applied magnetic field.
This ability helps detect and monitor a range of neurological conditions, including microbleeds, vascular abnormalities, brain tumors, and stroke.
Study co-author Dr. Sapna S. Mishra, of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, said: “Research at the group level has not previously focused on changes in brain magnetization caused by COVID-19, despite numerous case reports suggesting such abnormalities. Our study highlights this novel aspect of the neurological effects of COVID-19 and reports significant abnormalities in COVID-19 survivors.”
The researchers analyzed imaging data from 46 patients who had recovered from Covid and 30 healthy people in the comparison group.
Imaging was done within six months of recovery. Among long-term Covid patients, the most common symptoms were fatigue, sleep problems, inattention, and memory problems.
“Changes in the sensitivity values of brain regions may be indicative of local structural changes,” Mishra said. “Magnetic susceptibility may reflect the presence of an abnormal amount of magnetic connections, while low magnetization susceptibility may be associated with abnormalities such as calcification or the absence of paramagnetic particles. containing iron.
MRI results showed that patients who recovered from Covid-19 had a significantly higher susceptibility to magnetization of the frontal lobes and brainstem compared to healthy controls. Clusters obtained in the frontal lobe primarily show differences in white matter.
“These areas of the brain are associated with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, and cognitive problems,” Mishra added.
The researchers also found a significant difference in the right diencephalon region of the brainstem. This area is associated with many critical bodily functions, including coordination with the endocrine system for hormone secretion, transmission of sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex, and regulation of circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle).
Mishra said: “This study suggests that serious, long-term complications can be caused by the coronavirus, even after several months of recovery from infection. The current results are from a small time window. However, longitudinal time points over two years will show if there is no permanent change.
The researchers are currently conducting a longitudinal study in the same group of patients to determine if these brain abnormalities persist for a longer period of time.
Source: Medical Express