A new study published in the journal Nature has revealed yet another long-term effect of COVID-19. The research showed that even those with mild disease had a significant reduction in gray matter in their brains.
Although the coronavirus continues to infect hundreds of thousands of people every day all over the world, new mutations of the virus do not cause severe disease compared to previous mutations. But the virus still continues to be full of mysteries for the scientific world. Part of that mystery is the long-term effects of the COVID-19 disease from the coronavirus.
Some studies to date have shown that COVID-19 can even lead to shrinkage in the brain in the long term. A new study published in the journal Nature revealed a more serious and frightening result. The research showed that there was a significant reduction in the amount of gray matter in the brain.
Gray matter decreases, brain shrinks, cortex associated with smell is damaged
In the study, which was conducted on 785 UK Biobank participants aged 51-81, 401 people with COVID-19 and 385 controls were examined. Brain imaging of these people before and after infection was examined. The images showed that the amount of gray matter in the brain was markedly reduced.
In addition to a decrease in the amount of gray matter, changes were observed indicating that COVID-19 causes tissue damage in the primary olfactory cortex, which is associated with smell in the brain. However, the research has also proven once again that there is a significant reduction in the brain. Beyond that, the patients studied in the study were mostly not severely ill with COVID-19.
Of the 401 patients in the study who had COVID-19, only 15 were hospitalized.