Brain fog in COVID survivors linked to changes in spinal fluid; Study

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
  • Follow author on
Brain Fog
Representational Image

Over the past two years, several studies have shown that COVID-19 can cause profound consequences on the brain. Now the spread of the Omicron variant is said to be bringing back symptoms of long COVID, which include brain fog among others.

A group of researchers from the University of California has linked the brain fog to the way the SARS-COV-2 virus affects a person’s spine. For the study, the researchers have analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid of COVID-19 survivors and found elevated levels of proteins in some samples. This indicated that some inflammation occurred as a result of an immune response to the virus, the researchers said.

“It’s possible that the immune system, stimulated by the virus, maybe functioning in an unintended pathological way,” Dr. Joanna Hellmuth, senior author of the study, stated.

For the study, the researchers observed 32 COVID-19 survivors. Of these, 22 patients reported cognitive issues. They took the samples through lumbar punctures, to collect the spinal fluids of the patients.

Scientists have identified a number of symptoms associated with the Omicron variant. Mr. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, said that nausea and loss of appetite are the most common symptoms and are even present in those who are fully vaccinated or have received a booster shot.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has listed cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose as some other symptoms of Omicron. Dr. Amir Khan, a physician with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), even revealed a “telltale sign” caused by the Omicron variants, really bad night sweats.

Related: Common cold may provide protection against COVID infection; Study