THE Covid-19 can shrink the brain, reduce gray matter in regions that control emotions and memory, and damage areas that control smell, according to a study from the University of Oxford.
The scientists said the effects have been seen even in people who have not been hospitalized with Covid, and more research is needed to find out if the impact can be partially reversed or if it would persist in the long term.
“There is strong evidence for brain-related abnormalities in Covid-19,” the researchers said in their study, published Monday.
Even in mild cases, research participants showed “worsening of executive function” responsible for focus and organization, and on average, brain size decreased by 0.2% to 2%.
The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Nature, investigated brain changes in 785 participants aged 51 to 81 whose brains were scanned twice, including 401 people who caught Covid between the two scans. The second examination was carried out, on average, 141 days after the first.
The study showed that some people with Covid suffered from “mental confusion”, which included impaired attention, concentration, speed of processing information and memory.