COVID infection may accelerate brain ageing

A health worker takes a swab sample for COVID-19 testing in Srinagar on Wednesday July 27, 2022. [Representational Image]
A health worker takes a swab sample for COVID-19 testing in Srinagar on Wednesday July 27, 2022. [Representational Image] Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

New York: Covid-19 infections may predispose individuals to developing irreversible neurological conditions, finds a study.

The study by Houston Methodist researchers showed that Covid infection may increase the likelihood of strokes and may increase the chance of developing persistent brain lesions that can lead to brain bleeding.

Covid-19 is known to invade and infect the brain, among other major organs. Several brain imaging studies on Covid victims and survivors have confirmed the formation of microbleed lesions in deeper brain regions related to our cognitive and memory functions.

In the review study, published in the journal Ageing Research Reviews, researchers have critically evaluated the possible chronic neuropathological outcomes in ageing and comorbid populations if timely therapeutic intervention is not implemented.

Microbleeds are emerging neuropathological signatures frequently identified in people suffering from chronic stress, depressive disorders, diabetes and age-associated comorbidities.

Based on their earlier findings, the investigators discuss how Covid-induced micro-haemorrhagic lesions may exacerbate DNA damage in affected brain cells, resulting in neuronal senescence and activation of cell death mechanisms, which ultimately impact brain microstructure-vasculature.

These pathological phenomena resemble hallmarks of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and are likely to aggravate advanced-stage dementia, as well as cognitive and motor deficits.

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