A study reveals that COVID-19 infection shrinks the brain

From the start of the coronavirus pandemicthere is a strong evidence from brain-related abnormalities. Now a study carried out by the University of Oxford and published in the scientific journal ‘Natureshows that brain of Covid-infected patients is reduced between 0.2 and 2% of the overall size.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers in this study they scanned the brains of 785 people twice from the UK Biobank between 51 and 81 years with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The first scanOccurred before the pandemic and the second to early 2021. Of all the research participants, 401 people had been infected with coronavirusthe 96% of them with mild symptoms. The rest of the participants, 384 people, were also tested even though they did not have the disease.

The study shows a reduction in the gray matter of the brain

The before and after images taken from the scan of the brains between people who got the disease and those who didn’t, showed a greater reduction in the thickness of the gray matter despite having mild symptoms. The gray matter of the brain contains most of the neuronal cell bodies of the brain. this matter found in regions what are they involved in muscle control and in the sensory perception of sight and hearing, memory, emotions, self-control, decision-making…

In fact, the differences in the brain of those people who were infected by the virus were equivalent to between one and ten years of aging, being even older in the parts of the brain that involved in the sense of smell. Although the most impressive results were observed in the brains of older people.

Can the brain regenerate after this impact?

Yet Whether this impact can be reversed remains to be investigated.ry therefore, that they can be considered reversible changes, or if, on the contrary, the effects of the same will persist in the long term. Many researchers consider that some symptoms of covid, such as loss of smell, can cause the brain to react and that is why it shrinks the regions related to this sense.

However, in the face of this, the neuroplasticity of the brain also comes into playthat is, the property that the brain has to heal itself over time, to change its structure and its functioning.

The scientists follow wondering which is the exact cause of brain changes in infected people by coronavirus. This study raises many more questions that other researchers can continue to study and over time, more results will be discovered.


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