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To further understand how COVID-19 affects the brain, doctors in the United Kingdom conducted a survey on neurological symptoms seen in a database of Coronavirus patients

PHOTO CREDITS: MEDSCAPE

According to Science News, doctors in the United Kingdom are becoming more aware of how COVID-19 affects the brain. ~

In April, neurologists, stroke physicians, psychiatrists, and other doctors across the United Kingdom entered COVID-19 patient details to a centralized database as part of the survey. Strokes, confusion, and psychosis were found among the one hundred and twenty-five patients who have been hospitalized with infections of SARS-CoV-2. Although these cases have only been seen in patients who are severely ill and have previous neurological issues, these details bring scientists closer to better understanding COVID-19. Benedict Michael, a neurologist at the University of Liverpool in England, believes these brain-related symptoms often get missed due to it only affecting a small portion of the population. “These relatively rare but incredibly severe complications get missed, like needles in a haystack,” said Michael (Science News). To further understand how COVID-19 affects the brain, Michael and his colleagues conducted a survey on Coronavirus patients regarding their neurological symptoms. ~

Of the one hundred and twenty-five patients in the database, seventy-seven experienced an interruption of blood flow in the brain. This is most likely due to blood clots, which is widely known to be a common complication of Coronavirus. About a third of the one hundred and twenty-five patients had a shift in mental state as well, including confusion, personality change, or depression. These symptoms also are affecting young people. Strokes have been seen in younger people with COVID-19 and eighteen of thirty-seven patients with altered mental states were under the age of sixty. ~

It is currently unclear how these symptoms are created by SARS-CoV-2, but further research is being done to solve this mystery. These results address the range of neurological symptoms that doctors are seeing, but big questions remain about how the virus affects the brain. “Now that we know the rough idea of the scale of this, we desperately need research that gets to the disease mechanisms,” Michael says (Science News). ~

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