Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Out of the many side effects of long-COVID, "brain fog" seems to be reported by many, and growing evidence suggests that an awry immune response is behind the lingering brain trouble. As the science and medical community gradually learn more about several long- and short-term effects of COVID-19 infections, preliminary reports provide some clues that the immune system's response, even to mild cases of COVID-19, can affect the brain, leading to "brain fog."
Scientists looked for the differences in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord among 13 people with lingering cognitive symptoms following COVID-19 infection and 4 without cognitive symptoms. This study demonstrated that people with lingering symptoms had abnormalities in their fluid – some changes indicating an altered immune response, while people without cognitive symptoms had normal cerebrospinal fluid.
This finding aligns with reports of many cognitive problems following the flawed immune system response after viral infections such as HIV and influenza. The scientific community is hopeful that determining the molecular mechanisms of such disorders may ultimately lead to successful treatment and mitigatory measures.
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