Long-Covid goes on brain and nerves

What does Long-Covid do to us? It can be associated with neurological complaints such as impaired memory. To understand and treat the long-term consequences, centers need to be supported and new studies initiated. Excerpt from FAZ guest article by Prof. Michael Heneka, research group leader at DZNE and director of the Clinic for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry (NEG) at Bonn University Hospital.

"Already after the influenza pandemics of 1889 and 1892, which went down in medical history as the Russian flu, long-lasting neurological failure symptoms, psychoses and anxiety states were described. The Spanish flu, more commonly cited in those days, was followed by a cluster of Parkinson's disease and catatonia. Cases of encephalitis lethargica, first described in 1917, were diagnosed worldwide in the following decade. Similarly, after SARS and MERS infections not too long ago, memory impairment, attention deficits, and concentration problems appeared long after the acute phase.

The neurological symptoms described in such an acute phase of Covid 19 disease, such as loss of taste and smell, encephalitis, delirium, strokes, and epilepsy, are most likely caused not only by the viral infection of the brain but by a combination of different influences. These include impaired lung function, the release of inflammatory messengers by activated immune cells, multiple organ failure, and activated blood clotting. While it remains difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of clinical symptoms here, this is even more complicated in the case of Long Covid-associated limitations, as researchers have little understanding of the underlying pathological processes."

You can read the full article here (in German).

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