Even in cases where headaches and muscular aches are the only symptoms present during the acute stage of the virus, the production of inflammatory proteins and signs of brain damage occur.
The media has reported that researchers from UK institutions have found signs of brain damage in COVID-19 patients that continue months beyond the acute stage of the virus. The study examined samples from more than 800 hospitalised patients in England and Wales, and its findings were published in Nature Communications.
Even in cases of modest symptoms like headaches and muscular aches, during the acute phase of the viral infection, signs of brain injury and inflammatory proteins are produced. Nevertheless, the study showed that even after a patient is released from the hospital, more serious neurological issues like encephalitis, seizures, and stroke might occur, according to media reports.
Principal Investigator Benedict Michael, who also serves as the Director of the University of Liverpool’s Infection Neuroscience Laboratory, emphasised that “although some neurological symptoms were frequently mild, it became evident that more serious and possibly fatal new brain issues were emerging.”
Remarkably, even while blood tests showing inflammation returned to normal, the study discovered strong biomarker evidence of persistent brain damage months after recovery from COVID-19. Inflammatory indicators linked to aberrant immune responses during the acute phase raise the prospect of undiagnosed persistent inflammation and brain damage.
The researchers suggest that these biomarkers may be useful as therapeutic targets for illnesses that cause acute brain damage, in addition to COVID-19. According to Michael, “Our study shows that markers of brain injury are present in the blood months after COVID-19, suggesting the possibility of ongoing inflammation and injury inside the brain itself, which blood tests for inflammation might not pick up on.”