The effects of Covid-19 on the brain – Breaking health news – Sözcü

prof. Dr. Uludüz, “Covid-19 causes high levels of inflammation in the brains of people and the blood vessels that feed the brain. “This can cause cognitive damage,” he said.

Effects of Covid-19 on the brain

Some patients with Covid-19 experience Alzheimer’s-like brain fog. In fact, studies show that the brain volume of people with Covid-19 can shrink. Complaints such as forgetfulness, short-term memory loss, confusion, inability to think clearly, inability to concentrate, sleep problems, headaches, difficulty speaking and finding everyday words, and depressed moods are quite common in infected people. Brain fog can persist for months after the first Covid-19 outbreak and can increase the risk of dementia in the long run. So how does Covid-19 cause brain fog and shrinkage? Here is Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Derya Uludüz’s answers…

Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Derya Uludüz


The main reason why Covid-19 causes Alzheimer’s-like symptoms of forgetfulness is the immune response. The intense immune activity caused by Covid-19 leads to high levels of inflammation in people’s brains and the blood vessels that feed the brain. This, in turn, can cause cognitive damage. There may also be an autoimmune reaction, where antibodies attack nerve cells by mistake. When nerves damaged by such immune responses send false signals, they can even produce signs of tingling or numbness in addition to brain fog. Staying in the intensive care unit and post-traumatic stress disorder are also factors that contribute to the cognitive decline caused by Covid-19. Recent studies say that people who have odor problems during Covid may experience more brain shrinkage. When the virus reaches the brain via the olfactory nerve, it damages the temporal and frontal brain regions along the path taken by the olfactory nerve, these regions are important regions for cognitive functions such as memory.

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What should we do against the brain fog and brain shrinkage that comes with Covid-19?

B1 Vitamins: Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, protects cells in the brain from damage. So much so that people with B1 deficiency are at greater risk for dementia. Thiamine deficiency in Covid-19 patients leaves the brain vulnerable to damage.

Adequate levels of thiamine will benefit from regulating immune responses and reducing brain cell-damaging cytokine storms during Covid-19 infection. Vitamin B1 deficiency is caused by alcohol use, consumption of too many processed carbohydrates and sugars. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B1 supplementation is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women. Rich sources of thiamine include meat, nuts and legumes.

Zinc: First of all, zinc has an important role in the hippocampus, the brain’s center responsible for learning and memory. Zinc is highly concentrated in the hippocampus and regulates spatial learning and memory, plays a role in the production of BDNF and increases interneural communication. Due to the stress and damage caused by Covid-19 in the hippocampus region, neurological complaints such as brain fog, memory loss and forgetfulness occur. People supplemented with zinc supplements may protect their hippocampus from cognitive decline, memory impairments, and emotional abnormalities. The recommended daily amount of zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for adult men.

DHA-EPA / Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. High Omega-3 intake reduces the risk of brain fog and cognitive decline. It also reduces inflammation caused by Covid-19, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. The major Omega-3 in the brain is DHA, which is found in the membranes surrounding nerve cells, particularly at the microscopic junctions where cells connect to each other. The other main Omega-3 EPA fights inflammation for your brain and mental health. DHA and EPA are effective against the attacks of Covid-19 on the brain through their benefits for blood vessels, their anti-inflammatory effects, and the support and protection of nerve cell membranes. The anti-inflammatory effects of DHA and EPA can reduce the brain damage of Covid-19. Therefore, the use of EPA and DHA supplements should be considered as both a supportive treatment and a prevention strategy in Covid-19 infection. DHA and EPA are found in many seafood products. However, it can be taken as a supplement and can be taken in more regular and appropriate amounts. EPA and DHA supplements are recommended to be taken at least 250 and 500 mg per day.

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MCT Oil: Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) can be found in certain foods, supplements, and medicinal foods. Coconut oil has the highest percentage of naturally occurring MCTs with 60 percent MCT oil. Our body converts MCT fat into ketones that can be used by the brain as an energy source. MCTs have the potential to improve brain cell function and reduce cognitive decline. Coconut oil has been shown to protect neurons by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. With these aspects, you should add MCT oil to your diet and treat your brain with a healthier oil against Covid-19. To maximize the effects of coconut oil, you should try pure coconut oil.

Sleep: Memory complaints and cognitive impairments are common in patients with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is reported in 8 percent of patients presenting for forgetfulness. Patients who are treated for sleep apnea see symptoms disappear over time. Sleep problems are also common in patients infected with Covid-19. Presumably, post-Covid-19 changes in brain waves and imbalances in brain chemicals negatively affect deep sleep, disrupting cortisol/melatonin levels, disrupting sleep/wake cycles. If you have sleep problems, getting treatment can cure your brain fog.

MIND Diet: The MIND diet is a new diet that improves overall cognitive and mental health. It is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and olive oil; The DASH diet, on the other hand, emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low sodium. A research team at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that when both diets were combined, this combination reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53 percent. The MIND diet can provide a strong defense and healing power in the face of Covid-19 brain involvement, as it improves symptoms such as brain fog, forgetfulness, low energy.

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