(Sarah Hellewell/The Conversation) — Most of what we know about how COVID can affect the brain has come from studies of severe infection. In people with severe COVID, inflammatory cells from outside the brain can enter brain tissue and spread inflammation. There may be changes to blood vessels. Brain cells can even have changes similar to those seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
For the first time, a new study has investigated the effects of mild COVID (that is, infection that doesn’t lead to a hospital admission) on the brain. The findings may further explain some of the brain changes contributing to long COVID.
Many people who have had COVID report feelings of “brain fog”, fatigue and problems with concentration and memory long after their initial symptoms resolve. These problems, collectively referred to as “long COVID”, may last for months even after mild infection. (…)