With COVID-19, as with any viral disease, there is a huge impact on the brain and nervous system. Recent studies conducted have found that 36% to 55% of the of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized have some neurological symptoms.
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, and several studies have found that previous infection with coronaviruses increase the risk of long-term neurological symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s even decades later.
The more known neurological symptoms from COVID-19 infection include:
- loss of smell and taste
- nerve dysfunction
These symptoms involve inflammation, and increased clotting in the blood stream among other processes.
With severe COVID-19, a storm of chemical reactions spark up the immune system response, which can result in more serious neurological complications, such as:
- nerve cell death
- encephalitis (or inflammation of the brain)
When individuals are in recovery from COVID-19 , neurological symptoms can also crop up after hospitalization or recovery.
On a positive note, clinical neuroscientists theorize that the immune effect of the “female” sex hormones may allow women to reduce the inflammatory response in COVID-19. This hormonal advantage for women may statistically allow more women to avoid severe complications of COVID-19 as opposed to men.
On the downside, the United Nations has confirmed that the social impact of COVID-19 on women and girls has been enormous. The impact on women’s job prospects, contribution to the economy, and social protection losses for women are prevalent in COVID-19 era.
It also likely that, with neurological conditions, the disability from COVID-19 will likely have significant impacts on the nervous system, which can result in depression, anxiety and cognitive effects, all of which can impact the health of women for a long time to come.
As of now, medical scientists are still are learning about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and predicting what impact that the widespread virus may have on our future lives.
While COVID-19 is an ongoing battle, Your Brain Doctor is working to help you.
unwomen.org UN Secretary-General’s policy brief: The impact of COVID-19 on women| Digital library: Publications| UN Women-headquarters. Accessed on 30 Jan 2020.
Aastha Takkar1 Monika Singla2 Ind J Car Dis Wom:2020; 5:264–270 Review Article: The Neurological Aspects of COVID-19: Do Women Respond Differently. Accessed on 30 Jan 2020 https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/pdf/10.1055/s-0040-1716134.pdf