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The target brain of the SarsCoV2 virus, damage from disease – Medicine

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The brain is one of the main ‘targets’ of the SarsCov2 virus. If in the first phase of the disease and during a possible hospitalization the symptoms from Covid-19 are in fact mainly respiratory and metabolic, once the acute phase is resolved the ‘aftermaths’ are mainly neurological, as shown by the data of the COVID Next study of the University of Brescia and the Besta Neurological Institute of Milan, published in the journal Neurological Sciences and discussed during the first Webinar of the international web forum ‘Pills of Psychiatry and Neurology 2021’ organized by the University of Brescia and the Menarini International Foundation.

These data are added to the numerous researches that have observed how post-Covid neurological syndrome can affect up to 70% of patients who have had medium-severe symptoms, leaving memory, concentration, sleep and mood disorders. Post-Covid neurological difficulties could also partly depend on alterations in brain morphology, as a direct effect of the virus on infected patients who, often, underwent a volume reduction in key areas of the brain.

However, the lack of social interactions has also led to a reduction of gray matter in particular on young and old, with an increase for some of the possibility of developing addictions and for the others of accelerating cognitive deterioration. The data from the COVID Next study, “obtained on 165 patients admitted with Covid of medium to high severity, show that while respiratory and metabolic symptoms peak during hospitalization and tend to reduce and stabilize once they leave the hospital, the neurological and psychiatric disorders have an opposite trend and begin to increase once the acute phase of the infection is resolved – explains Alessandro Padovani, president-elect of the Italian Society of Neurology and head of the study -. There is at least a partial correlation with the severity of Covid: up to 70% of patients with moderate to severe disease report neurological symptoms 6 months later, including chronic fatigue (34%), memory / concentration disturbances (32%), sleep (31%), muscle aches (30 %) and depression and anxiety (27%). However, these problems are often manifesting themselves even in those who have had a mild disease “.

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