Brain fog due to Covid: Study claims it's due to virus' effect on spinal fluid

By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jan 21, 2022 10:08 AM IST

Brain fog and other symptoms have been associated with long Covid. The spread of the Omicron variant is believed to be bringing back these symptoms. Scientists say cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose are some other symptoms associated with Omicron.

The spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus is believed to be bringing back symptoms of long Covid, which include brain fog among others. It causes memory loss and cognitive issues as a result of infection.

Brain fog causes memory loss and cognitive issues.(Representative Photo/Pixabay)
Brain fog causes memory loss and cognitive issues.(Representative Photo/Pixabay)

Now, a group of researchers from University of California has linked he brain fog to the way the Sars-CoV-2 virus affects a person’s spine.

They analysed the cerebrospinal fluid of Covid-19 survivors and found elevated levels of proteins in some samples. This indicated that some inflammation occurred as a result of an immune response to the virus, the researchers said.

"It's possible that the immune system, stimulated by the virus, may be functioning in an unintended pathological way," Dr Joanna Hellmuth, senior author of the study.

The research has been published in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. For the study, the researchers studied 32 Covid-19 survivors. Of these, 22 patients reported cognitive issues.

They took the samples through lumbar punctures, to collect the spinal fluids of the patients.

The researchers are hopeful that their study will help the physicians understand better why people are experiencing brain fog as a result of Covid-19.

Scientists have identified a number of symptoms associated with the Omicron variant. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, said that nausea and loss of appetite are the most common symptoms and are even present in those who are fully vaccinated or have received a booster shot.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has listed cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose as some other symptoms of Omicron.

Dr Amir Khan, a physician with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), even revealed a “telltale sign” caused by the Omicron variants - really bad night sweats.

The Omicron variant emerged in South Africa on November 24, and has since then spread to more than 100 countries. It has led to surge in Covid-19 infection in many regions and countries of the world, especially the United States and the UK.

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