Significant post-COVID brain abnormalities – Medical News

Significant post-COVID brain abnormalities – Medical News

In brain regions associated with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches and cognitive problems

Using a special type of MRI, researchers have detected brain changes in patients up to six months after they recover from COVID-19, according to a study to be presented at next week’s annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). .

About one in five adults will develop long-term effects from COVID-19, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Neurological symptoms associated with prolonged COVID-19 include difficulty thinking or concentrating, headaches, trouble sleeping, lightheadedness, tingling, and changes in smell or taste and depression or anxiety. However, studies have found that COVID-19 can be associated with changes in the heart, lungs or other organs, even in asymptomatic patients.

As more people contract and recover from COVID-19, research has emerged that focuses on the long-lasting effects of the disease.

For this study, researchers used sensitivity-weighted imaging to analyze the effects of COVID-19 on the brain. Magnetic susceptibility measures how strongly certain materials, such as blood, iron, and calcium, become magnetized in an applied magnetic field. This ability helps detect and monitor a wide range of neurological conditions, including microbleeds, vascular malformations, brain tumors and stroke.

“Cluster-level studies have not previously focused on COVID-19 brain magnetic susceptibility changes, although several case reports indicate such abnormalities,” said study co-author Sapna S. Mishra, Ph.d. Candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. “Our study highlights this new aspect of the neurological effects of COVID-19 and reports significant abnormalities in COVID survivors.”

Researchers analyzed sensitivity-weighted imaging data from 46 recovered COVID patients and 30 healthy controls. Imaging was performed within six months of recovery. In patients with long-term COVID, the most common symptoms were fatigue, trouble sleeping, inattention and memory problems.

“Changes in susceptibility values ​​of brain regions can indicate changes in local composition,” Mishra said. “Susceptibility levels may reflect the presence of abnormal levels of paramagnetic compounds, while lower susceptibility levels could reflect abnormalities such as calcification or a lack of iron-containing paramagnetic molecules.”

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