Coronavirus can cause severe brain damage, psychosis and strokes: COVID-19 study

A model of the human brain. (File photo: Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash)

The coronavirus can cause severe brain damage and strokes in patients who ill with the virus, a study published Thursday said.

The results followed a study of 125 patients hospitalized with coronavirus in the UK, which found that more than six in 10, 62 percent, suffered a stroke during their stay at hospital.

Scientists taking part in the study, which was published in Lancet Psychiatry, found that the second most common condition reported by patients was an altered mental state, which can refer to confusion, memory loss, disorientation or a coma.

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While older patients were more likely to suffer a stroke, the data did indicate that younger patients disproportionately overrepresented those suffering from an altered mental state.

Patients in the study also developed a wide range of other brain-related symptoms, such as new-onset psychosis, dementia, catatonia, and mania.

The researchers noted that the results of the study were not conclusive for all patients of coronavirus, however, as those taking part in the study were likely some of the most ill from the virus.

“Our rates of neurological and psychiatric complications of COVID-19 cannot be extrapolated to mildly affected patients or patients with asymptomatic infection, especially those in the community, but give a broad national perspective on complications severe enough to require hospitalization,” the researchers wrote.

COVID-19’s vast array of health complications

Scientists have previously warned that there is a possibility that people infected with COVID-19 may never fully recover from the virus’s debilitating effects.

Health experts have only recently began to understand the vast array of health conditions caused by COVID-19, with research suggesting that the disease causes a far wider range of health problems that previously thought.

The coronavirus was originally identified as primarily a respiratory disease that leaves patients struggling to breath, with ventilators becoming a crucial tool in keeping those alive. However, as COVID-19 has spread around the world, experts identified it attacks organs throughout the body, causing potentially catastrophic damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California told Reuters on Saturday.

COVID-19 patients can suffer from blood clotting disorders, leading to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems, while also attacking the brain, with headaches, dizziness, and loss or taste and smell all symptoms of the virus in addition to respiratory problems.

The recovery from all of these symptoms can be very slow and costly, incurring a huge impact on quality of life.

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Last Update: Sunday, 28 June 2020 KSA 17:04 - GMT 14:04
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