There is increasing evidence that the novel Coronavirus may affect your brain! It is worrying but true. A few studies report as many as one-third of the coronavirus patients have had neurological symptoms.
COVID-19 can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, here the immune system affects the nerve cells; encephalitis, leading to inflammation and swelling, and stroke. Treat the same at a Neurology hospital in Hyderabad to avoid complications.
It is important to prevent viral transmission and discover more ways of accurate testing. As more and more people get affected by the COVID-19 virus, we see a surge of new symptoms that are making the infection hard to detect, diagnose, and treat.
Can Covid-19 Affect our Brain?
Coronavirus poses a threat to human health worldwide and even affects the entire nervous system. In some cases, the neurological symptoms start making its appearance even before the other common symptoms show up like fever or cough.
Is a Headache a Symptom of the Coronavirus Disease?
Research says that half of the affected patients may show neurological symptoms of COVID-19, the symptoms include dizziness, headache, decreased alertness, experiencing trouble in concentrating, taste and smell disorders, seizures, strokes, fatigue, and muscle weakness or pain.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Human Body and Mind
How dangerous is the coronavirus disease? The disease impacts the entire nervous system, including the spinal cord, brain, nerves, and muscles. There are varied manifestations of COVID-19; it is apparent in causing neurological dysfunction. It may affect several organs such as the lung, kidney, heart, and the brain. The brain starves of oxygenation, which leads to clotting disorders causing ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes.
There are other ways that the virus attacks the brain, as it may infect the brain in the form of meninges. The immune system rises to protect the body from the invading virus leading to inflammation, finally damaging the nerves and the brain.
Recent studies reveal that the Novel Coronavirus has an impact on the brains of fatal cases of COVID-19. It seems that the virus travels through the olfactory neurons in the nose and reaches the brain via the respiratory tract.
The human brain cells have ACE2 protein on their surface. This protein regulates blood pressure; the virus uses it to enter the cells. This protein also lines the endothelial cells. The infected endothelial cells give leeway to the virus to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain. The virus replicates in the brain to cause neurological disorders.
Are the neurological symptoms permanent or temporary? Well, that is what the world is researching on currently. Research labs in various countries around the world are trying to find out different ways to diagnose and treat the condition.
The Common and Not So Common Symptoms of Covid-19
Now we are in June, half of the year we have spent in combating the deadly virus; it has claimed more lives than we could imagine. Once you catch the virus; you suffer from the usual symptoms, fever, cough, breathlessness, or difficulty in breathing. But other stranger symptoms are showing up, making it all the more difficult to diagnose, Symptoms range from
- Pins and needles and numbness
- The loss of smell or taste
These are some of the known symptoms. However, the neurological symptoms are still what you can call is little-known; it affects a small section of the population. But we cannot ignore it, especially the physicians who must chalk out a different treatment strategy to treat these new symptoms of this condition. Let’s say we cannot treat a neurological disorder in the same way we can treat cold and cough symptoms.
The Coronavirus is said to affect the blood-brain barrier and may start infecting the neurons, making it hard to treat the condition. The researchers are trying to tackle the virus in myriad ways, attacking it with a two-pronged approach. Doctors are using antiviral drugs combining it with steroids to control the inflammation. However, if the Coronavirus is affecting the brains, then they need to take up a different approach.
COVID-19 patients were diagnosed with neurological symptoms first in Wuhan in China. Physicians the world over had thought that the disease only causes pulmonary complications, but with patients manifesting several neurologic complications too, the equation has changed somewhat. Any viral infection can affect the central nervous symptoms. But physicians still find it tough to pin down the specific symptoms because doctors primarily have to depend on the anecdotal evidence of the patients, and often the COVID-19 symptoms were not mapped with proper precision. Doctors couldn’t image the people’s brains and monitor their nervous system activity, or detect the virus in their spinal fluid. We need to know this as this is the kind of data that would help us know about the effect of the Covid-19 virus on our brains.
The long term impact of neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 is scarce; we need more research to conclude the same; it can only happen when a cross-section of patients is studied to know whether the condition is temporary or permanent.
The scientists need to conduct a thorough study on the inflammatory and the immune cell response to the SARS-CoV-2, as well and even make post-mortem studies to get a better understanding of the neurological manifestations of the virus.