COVID: 7 ways the virus affects your brain

Though often linked to your lungs, COVID can actually have a lasting impact on your brain. These are the seven ways the coronavirus can damage your brain.

In the most severe cases, the coronaviruscan attack your brain on top of the more commonly experienced symptoms we have come to associate the virus with.

COVID can get into the brain

When your body is fighting to rid itself of the virus, it can result in your brain being affected in several ways that range from mild to potentially even fatal. Professor James Goodwin, director of the Brain Health Network, explains that:

Infections send our immune system into overdrive, and in some people who have a huge viral load, it can cause an uncontrolled response. This is the release of a large amount of inflammatory molecules - known as a cytokine storm - to the infected area.

Although this mainly impacts the lungs, it can severely damage other organs including the heart, kidneys, liver and the brain. Dr. Goodwin said:

Covid gets into the brain through tightly sealed blood vessels which surround the organ. Spikes in the virus grab onto receptors, replicate inside them and then move on into the brain.

What are the 7 ways COVID affects the brain?

This can be manifested in the 7 following ways:

  • Headaches
  • Delirium
  • Blood clots
  • Loss of smell
  • Brain fog
  • Strokes
  • Hallucinations

In its milder form, some people have reported experiencing brain fog, which includin the heart, kidneys, liver and the brain. Dr. Goodwin said: he infection and can last up to months. Delirium and hallucinations are signs to watch out for and should require immediate medical attention as these could be onset symptoms of something much more severe.

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