In a news release from EurekaAlert, researchers at Columbia University say that they found no signs of virus inside the patients’ brain cells but saw many brain abnormalities that could explain the confusion and delirium seen in some patients with severe coronavirus and the lingering “brain fog” in those with mild disease. The study, which the authors called the largest COVID-19 brain autopsy report thus far, involved analysis of a sample from autopsies conducted from March to June 2020 and was published in Brain.
“At the same time, we observed many pathological changes in these brains, which could explain why severely ill patients experience confusion and delirium and other serious neurological effects, and why those with mild cases may experience ‘brain fog’ for weeks and months”. This is the largest and most detailed COVID-19 brain autopsy report published to date and suggests that the neurological changes often seen in these patients may result from inflammation triggered by the virus in other parts of the body or in the brain’s blood vessels.
The researchers are now examining autopsies on patients who died several months after recovering from COVID-19 to learn more and are examining the brains of patients who were critically ill with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) before the COVID-19 pandemic, to see how much of COVID-19 brain pathology is a result of the severe lung disease. Thanks again to some great research, please stay well, mask up and stay tuned!