The latest observations show a frightening result: the traces left by the coronavirus in the body are far more serious than previously thought. The damage to the brain in particular is enormous.
The new corona virus leaves behind according to Prof. Dr. Peter Berlit, Secretary General of the German Society for Neurology, much more serious traces in the body of infected people than previously known. In an interview with “Bild am Sonntag”, the neurologist explained that the virus made its way through the entire human organism. Covid-19 does not “only” affect the lungs, heart and kidneys – the nervous system and the brain are also severely damaged. According to Dr. Berlit is already spoken of in neurological circles as “Neuro-Covid”.
The most well-known coronavirus symptoms include loss of sense of smell and taste. “Anyone who can suddenly no longer smell and taste without an upper respiratory tract infection should go to quarantine at home and have it tested,” says Prof. Berlit. According to current knowledge, around 90 percent of all infected patients could smell and taste again after four weeks However, ten percent of all infected people do not.
A third of all corona intensive care patients suffer brain damage
In addition to the more harmless symptoms, such as the loss of the sense of smell and taste, there are also far more serious damage: According to the latest findings, a third of all corona intensive care patients develop diffuse brain damage (encephalopathies). Symptoms include confusion, memory problems, hallucinations, and epileptic seizures. “The brain scans of these patients showed damage to the white matter with tiny, small punctual bleeding. Most patients experienced this during their time in the intensive care unit. However, after getting through the infection, general fatigue and memory problems in everyday life remained.” , says Dr. Berlit opposite the “Bild am Sontag”. These patients would then need neurological rehab.
Covid-19 may also cause inflammation in the brain: “The virus was detected in the nerve water, so it is assumed that this is a direct effect of the virus,” explains the expert. In some of the examined patients with such an inflammation of the brain Antibodies have been shown to damage the brain in the long term, a reaction of the immune system that is “triggered” by SARS-Cov-2. “The virus triggers an immune response that leads to massive inflammation changes in the blood . “explains Dr. Berlit.
Strokes are also a result of a Covid 19 disease, which – and this is the curiosity – can also affect some young patients without previous illnesses. Even if these were only isolated cases, it is worrying, explains the doctor. For some, stroke was the first symptom of the infection.
The virus makes its way into the brain via the nose or the mouth and throat.