Covid Affects Brain Size

chiropractic and immune response

A study that examined the brains of people before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection found a decrease in brain volume and damage to olfactory areas compared with controls.

The study showed that the brains of people who contracted and recovered from Covid-19 showed a greater than expected brain size reduction based on normal aging.

The study considered 785 subjects between the ages of 51 and 81 who were each scanned twice, about three years apart. They were all part of the UK Biobank, a project that collects biomedical data on the health and genetics of half a million UK participants. Of the nearly 800 people whose brains were scanned, 401 contracted COVID-19 between the first and second scan and 15 were hospitalized with the illness. All infections occurred between March 2020 and April 2021, and the second scan took place four and a half months after recovery from COVID-19, on average. Researchers compared the changes between the two scans in these participants to those of 384 matched controls who had also undergone two scans but had not contracted COVID-19. 

This study did not correlate symptoms to brain mass changes. It was exploratory and not making any statements on function so those questions will have to be researched later. It may be the cytokine storm of inflammation that causes this loss of brain mass more than the virus as the people who were hospitalized (worse systemic inflammation) had more brain mass loss than the mild cases who recovered at home.

It is something to be aware of and look for ways to reduce systemic inflammation and also supplying enough nutrients to rebuild lost tissue. And lastly remembering that chiropractic spinal adjustments stimulate brain centers and especially cerebral cortex activity and general brain activity. One could say chiropractic is akin to brain exercise and could help brain cell growth and recovery although this has not been specifically studied.

My in office observations after 33 years is that regular chiropractic visits are “exercising” your brain so get into the chiropractor for more than back pain!

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