COVID-19 induced brain damage is fairly common: Researchers

*1 in 7 Coronavirus patients suffer some kind of brain impairment after being infected, as it can limit the patient’s ability to breathe

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Though researchers say there’s a chance that a patient might die from the virus infection in relation to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), there is an even better chance that such a patient could suffer a brain injury.

A fresh study indicates the researchers at the New York University’s (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine, who wrote in the journal, Neurology, stated that about one out of seven people infected with the Coronavirus suffer some form of neurological injury.

However, they opined that the damage is not from the infection itself.

It was gathered that the injury is caused by the virus’ symptoms.

Because the virus attacks the lungs, it can limit the patient’s ability to breath, and that can damage the brain.

The injuries range from temporary confusion because of low body-oxygen levels to stroke and seizures in the most serious cases.

As the infection increases risk of death despite that scans showed that infections from the virus had not invaded the brain, the researchers maintain that there is real cause for concern because the brain damage suffered by COVID-19 patients magnifies the severity of their illness and increases their chances of dying by 38 percent.

According to them, these adverse effects also make it 28 percent more likely a patient will require long-term care or rehabilitation therapy immediately after their stay in the hospital.

Dr. Jennifer Frontera, Lead Investigator in the study, said:  “The results of our study showed no signs that the Coronavirus directly attacks the nervous system.

“The neurological complications seen in COVID-19 are predominately the secondary effects of being severely ill and suffering from low oxygen levels in the body for prolonged periods of time.”

However, the study notes that older consumers most at risk, as some COVID-19 patients have reported symptoms that could be related to neurological damage.

These have ranged from confusion and memory loss to hallucinations, report said.

The researchers asserted that these effects were first reported in Asia and Europe, where the pandemic gained momentum before it hit the US shores.

Doctors at NYU Langone Health said they were prepared to look for signs of brain impairment in the COVID-19 patients they treated.

The study further highlighted that just as older patients appear to be most at risk of dying from the virus, they also are at the greatest risk of suffering neurological effects. Half of those suffering neurological effects were over age 71, while 66 percent were men and 63 percent were white, researchers stated.

Although Coronavirus is known to attack other vital organs, including blood vessels and the heart, it mainly affects the lungs, noted the study.

The virus makes breathing difficult by starving the body of the oxygen it needs to stay alive.

Low levels of oxygen in the body and brain is another common neurological problem that could lead to confusion, coma, or permanent brain damage, said the researchers.

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