It may be challenging to connect the subject of brain health to COVID-19. This is probably due to the virus’s primary target — the respiratory system. But Dr. Curtis Cripe notes that medical findings show that COVID-19 can affect the body more than what is usually known.
Theories abound as to how COVID-19affects the brain, says Dr. Curtis Cripe. One leading theory concerns the loss of smell, pointing to the olfactory cells concentrated inside the nose. These cells are susceptible to viral invasion, and through them, COVID-19 may reach the olfactory bulb in the brain, located in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for short-term memory.
Another possibility is when the immune system goes berserk for it to be able to fight COVID-19. This may cause neurological complications such as the encephalitis seen in some patients who may experience mild flu-like symptoms. COVID-19 can also cause blood clots that travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Some COVID-19 patients reported having experienced stroke as their first complication, while the respiratory symptoms were mild.
It has been reported that COVID-19 or its genetic strain was found in the cerebrospinal fluid in some patients, Dr. Curtis Cripe reveals. This raises the possibility of the virus affecting the brain directly. But some scientists, argue that the evidence for this remains uncertain at this point. More studies are still required to know the extent of damage of COVID-19.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in neuroengineering programs aimed at the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders connected to head injury, depression, anxiety, memory disorders, and learning disorders. For more on Dr. Cripe and his work, visit this page.