COVID-19 Brain Effects With over a year of pandemic behind us, medical researchers are recognizing that COVID-19 infection affects the brain and may lead to pathological changes in brain physiology. Health care clinicians are documenting that many “recovered” patients are now complaining of persistent neuropsychological symptoms or “brain fog.” These neuropsychological symptoms fall into two domains: cognitive and emotional. Cognitive symptoms can include problems with attention/concentration, memory, processing speed, and executive functions, such as decision-making, problem-solving, planning, reasoning, inhibiting impulses, and multi-tasking. Emotional symptoms may include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and paranoia.
Recent research has shown a variety of brain abnormalities due to the viral infection.1 Hypoperfusion, or reduced blood flow, has been observed in the frontal region of the brain, which regulates executive functions. Structural abnormalities have been seen in the temporal brain region, which is often referred to as “the seat of memory.” Also, demyelination, or erosion of the fatty coating that covers the nerves, may be the cause of slowed information processing speed.
Source: Princeton Magazine.