Researchers use a special type of MRI to detect brain changes Up to six months after recovery from COVID-19 in patients.
about One in five adults will develop long-term effects of COVID-19, Long-term neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19 include difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness, pins and needles, changes in smell or taste, and depression or anxiety. However, studies have found that COVID-19 may be associated with changes in the heart, lungs or other organs even in asymptomatic patients.
As more people are infected with COVID-19 and recover, research focusing on the long-lasting consequences of the disease is beginning to emerge.
The study, to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), uses sensitivity-weighted imaging to analyze the effects of COVID-19 on the brain. Magnetic susceptibility indicates the extent to which certain materials, such as blood, iron, and calcium, become magnetized in an applied magnetic field. This capability helps detect and monitor a number of neurological conditions, such as microbleedsVascular malformations, brain tumors and stroke.
“Cluster-level studies have not previously focused on COVID-19 changes in brain magnetic susceptibility, pointing to such abnormalities,” say co-authors of the study. Sapna S Mishra, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. “Our study sheds light on this new aspect of the neurological effects of Covid-19 and reports significant abnormalities in survivors of Covid-19.”
The researchers analyzed sensitivity-weighted imaging data from 46 recovered COVID-19 patients and 30 healthy controls. Images were performed six months after recovery. Among patients with long-term COVID-19, the most commonly reported symptoms were fatigue, sleep problems, inattention, and memory problems,
“Changes in sensitivity values of brain regions may indicate changes in local structure,” says Mishra. “Sensitivity may reflect the presence of abnormal amounts of paramagnetic compounds, whereas reduced sensitivity may be due to abnormalities such as calcification or a deficiency of iron-containing paramagnetic molecules.”
These brain regions are associated with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, and cognitive problems.
MRI results showed that patients who had recovered from COVID-19 had significantly higher sensitivity in the frontal lobe and brainstem compared to healthy controls. group received in frontal lobe differ mainly in White substance,
“These brain regions are associated with fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches and cognitive problems,” Misra said.
“This study points to the serious long-term complications that can arise even months after recovery from coronavirus infection,” Mishra warned. “The findings are consistent with a short time window, However, longitudinal time points in a few years will tell whether there is a permanent change.”
The researchers are conducting a longitudinal study in the same group of patients to determine whether these brain abnormalities persist over time.