We know already that the COVID-19 disease comes up with various symptoms due to the damage caused by the virus on various organs. Initially, thought to affect only lungs now we see the virus can be a threat to all the organs, including the brain. Yes, recent studies show that the virus can cause myalgic encephalitis and Guillain Barr syndrome. In addition to this, we also know the initial minor neurological changes that affect the smell and taste that are regarded as the hallmark symptoms of getting the disease. The direct effects in the brain are said to be the result of the virus affecting the organ and the indirect effects of viruses affecting the vascular system or causing the widespread inflammation across the body.
The memory decline
To understand the entire process of this memory decline linked with inflammation and the immune system, see here. To put things in brief, we see that there are specialized neuroimmune cells that are essential for memory function at synapses. But during an inflammatory condition, large amounts of signals are sent across the brain by these cells, which affects the memory function. Although these effects are shortlived up to the period of the condition, the question arises regarding long-term memory loss. This is because these inflammatory signals can have a destructive effect on the neuroimmune cells that permanently impair memory. This can be a minor change in the neuronal function or damage to the neuron itself. These are based on other illnesses as now we do not have solid evidence of -COVID-19 having these effects on the brain. We have to wait further until we have a clearer picture of that.
Although studies suggest these effects on the brain, we will not know for sure what will be the long term effects caused by COVID-19. Be it Alzheimer’s disease or any other one by the time we find out such complications; times would have passed by then. But what we know is that these effects on the brain can be decreased by the treatment and prevention of the disease. Reduction by treatment and prevention by the vaccine will help us the severity and illness along with the inflammatory responses. This will help us maintain optimum brain health in the future days to come.
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