How COVID-19 Can Cause Neurological Damage to the Brain

How COVID-19 Can Cause Neurological Damage to the Brain

The reports of long-term effects of COVID-19 have ranged from mild to unusual. One common issue that experts and COVID-19 survivors  discuss is the adverse effects of the virus on the neurological system.

Many people who have contracted coronavirus have developed neurological symptoms such as damage to the brain’s blood supply or an altered mental state. The exact effect coronavirus has on the brain and neurological system, and why it only adversely impacts some people, remains a mystery with scientists.

What We Know About the Effects of COVID-19 on the Brain

Researchers are working hard to figure out how the coronavirus impacts the brain and what we can do to prevent any long-term damage from the virus. Over the course of the pandemic, medical professionals have noted that COVID can adversely affect various body systems, including the brain and the heart.

Many people lost their sense of smell from a coronavirus infection. That led experts to believe that the virus might affect the nervous system. As time went on, data showed COVID patients with strokes and other brain complications.

There is documented evidence that people hospitalized due to COVID-19 have dealt with various types of psychological, neurological, psychiatric, and cognitive symptoms. Medical staff working in the hospital intensive care units have seen these symptoms first-hand.

The Many Neurological Issues Associated with COVID

Some of the complications associated with COVID-19 include neurological issues such as headaches, weakness, dizziness, confusion, seizures, eye movement problems, and paralysis. The most common neurological problems are delirium and stroke.

Generally, the patients who have a harder time with COVID-19 tend to have more brain complications than others. Patients with a very severe case of COVID are more likely to also have neurological issues. However, there are exceptions to that rule. A recent study in England on 43 patients who suffered neurological problems after having COVID found that some of those patients only had mild respiratory problems.

The History of Outbreaks and Neurological Issues

As we continue to investigate how COVID affects the brain, more scientists are looking at epidemics from years ago for help. The influenza outbreak of 1918 was also linked to neurological problems, many of which occurred several months or years after the patient contracted the flu. 

The more recent SARS outbreak in 2003 and the MERS outbreak from 2012 were both caused by coronavirus similar to the one responsible for COVID-19. Those outbreaks were also linked to long-lasting neurological issues, such as inflammation of the brain. Scientists are using data from those outbreaks to try to understand the connection between COVID-19 and these neurological issues. 

While experts are concerned that COVID-19 could cause the same problems, the first step is to document when a patient with COVID develops neurological issues. Experts are looking into autoimmune therapies that could help restore brain function, although they fear that some damage caused by COVID-19 may be irreversible.

BASS Urgent Care Is Here to Help with Non-Emergency Care

If you have questions or concerns about how COVID -19 can cause neurological damage, get in touch with our medical experts at BASS Urgent Care. We are here to help by providing you with peace of mind in our safe and secure facility. Contact us today at (925)329-3718.