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Covid shrinks the brain, and we don’t yet know if the damage is ...

World

Covid shrinks the brain, and we don’t yet know if the damage is permanent

A study of infected people has found a 0.2% to 2% reduction in grey matter, representing up to 10 years of ageing

Jason Gale

Even a mild case of Covid-19 can damage the brain and addle thinking, scientists found in a study that highlights the illness’s alarming impact on mental function.

Researchers identified Covid-19-associated brain damage months after infection, including in the region linked to smell, and shrinkage in size equivalent to as much as a decade of normal ageing. The changes were linked to cognitive decline in the study, which was published on Monday in the journal Nature. 

The findings represent striking evidence of the virus’s impact on the central nervous system. More research will be required to understand whether the evidence from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the UK’s University of Oxford means Covid-19 will worsen the global burden of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions...

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