“We’re following about 700 patients here at McGovern. We’ve looked and found dramatic increases in brain injury markers in the blood of people with Covid,” said Dr. McCullough, MD, PhD, chair of Neurology at UTHealth.
An alarming study done in the UK has found something similar.
Researchers had brain scans from over 700 patients, which were done before the pandemic. They did second MRI’s around three years after the first scan. 394 patients between 59 and 63 years old got the virus between the two scan. Those who recovered from COVID-19 had more brain atrophy or shrinkage in parts of the brain that control taste, smell, and memory. Most of those COVID cases were mild.
“Is it going to increase Alzheimer’s rates, dementia rates – even in people who are only mildly affected? This is something that could be a major public health crisis 20 years from now,” said Dr. McCullough “The next step is seeing, do the patients who have the worst brain shrinkage or volume loss have the worse memory?”