UK study indicates Covid resulting in long-term loss of grey matter
A new study in the UK, which analyzed brain scans before and after the deadly coronavirus infection, has revealed that there is a 'substantial loss of grey matter in those who recovered from Covid-19.
The loss of grey matter hint towards damage to certain areas of the brain. As per experts, it suggests damage to areas of the brain.
As a part of the study, the UK Biobank (UKB) performed brain image tests on over 40,000 participants before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the data centre that collects and collates genetic and health information. The scientists then invited hundreds of these participants for a second imaging visit in 2021. They then studied the effects of the deadly coronavirus in the brain. This was done using data from 782 participants from the re-imaging study.
The scientists used structural and functional brain scans from before and after the Covid-19 infection. This helped them to compare changes in the brain between these 394 Covid patients and 388 controls (those who tested negative) who were matched for age, sex, ethnicity and interval between scans.
Most of the Covid patients who were examined had mild to moderate disease in the past.
Published in the journal Medrxiv, the study read, "The vast majority of brain imaging studies so far have focused on qualitative, gross pathology of moderate to severe cases, often carried out on hospitalised patients. It remains unknown however whether the impact of COVID-19 can be detected in milder cases, in a quantitative and automated manner, and whether this can reveal a possible mechanism for the spread of the disease".
This is not the first study that has suggested evidence of a connection between COVID-19 and brain damage. A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal last year stated that serious COVID-19 infection can potentially damage the brain, further contributing to complications such as stroke or dementia-like symptoms.