A small study may shed light on what causes some people suffering from long COVID to experience “brain fog.” Many people who have lingering symptoms of the coronavirus report they suffer from memory loss, persistent migraines, and difficulty concentrating on basic tasks.
To try to understand what causes those symptoms, a team of researchers from Columbia Univerisity studied the brains of ten people who died from COVID-19. They discovered those patients had defects in their ryanodine receptors that were similar to people who had Alzheimer’s disease.
“When the COVID pandemic hit, like everybody else, I was interested in being helpful and doing what we could do,” said lead study author Dr. Andrew Marks, chair of the Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “What we found is really, I think quite unexpected: Not only did we find defective ryanodine receptors in the hearts and lungs of deceased COVID patients, we also found them in their brains.”
Marks said that more research needs to be done on the subject to determine the exact cause of the brain fog that some people experience.
“The study shows that long COVID-19 brain fog may be a form of Alzheimer’s disease, but much more research needs to be done before we can make more definitive conclusions,” Dr. Marks told MedPage Today.