Study: COVID Infections Increase Chance of Brain Injuries. By Ian Martin. Sept.24,2022

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Study: COVID Infections Increase Chance of Brain Injuries

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The long-term health consequences of being infected by COVID remain a mystery. Besides mental decline, it has also been linked to cardiovascular illness and diabetes.
Former COVID patients have a higher risk of long-term brain injury, according to a yearlong study published in Nature Medicine on Thursday.
The team, led by Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the Washington University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, examined anonymized medical records of millions of veterans and discovered that neurological disorders occurred in 7% more of those who had previously been infected with COVID compared to those who had not.
The researchers looked at 154,000 United States veterans who tested positive for COVID from March 1, 2020, to January 15, 2021. Those records were compared to 5.6 million patients who did not test positive for COVID and 5.8 million records from shortly before the pandemic reached the United States.
The most common neurological disorder was memory problems, commonly referred to as “brain fog.” The infected group showed a 77% higher risk of developing brain fog compared to the control group.
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Other mental disorders also saw a significant increase in risk, including ischemic stroke (50%), seizures (80%), mental health issues like anxiety or depression (43%), headaches (35%), and movement disorders like tremors (42%).
Earlier this year, Al-Aly and his colleagues also released a study showcasing that vaccines were less effective at preventing long COVID than previously thought. That study also relied on millions of veteran medical records. Unlike that study, this study was not aimed at long COVID sufferers but instead focused on patients who had COVID, regardless of whether they had long COVID symptoms. It potentially shows that COVID infection can have long-term health consequences, even after symptoms abate.
Al-Aly says that governments must prepare for the strain COVID will have on our health care systems and society in general. “Given the colossal scale of the pandemic, meeting these challenges requires urgent and coordinated — but, so far, absent — global, national and regional response strategies,” he said.

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