Coronavirus Could Lead to Brain Damage in Infected Patients, Study Says

It is still not known why COVID-19 patients are developing these brain complications, as the virus "was not detected in the cerebrospinal brain fluid of any of the patients tested," according to the press release.

This suggests "the virus did not directly attack the brain to cause the neurological illness," and researchers theorize the complications could be indirectly caused by the body's immune response to the virus rather than the virus itself. However, further research is needed to fully understand why patients were developing these complications.

Regardless, the findings are important for doctors around the world who are monitoring and treating coronavirus patients.

"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," joint first author Dr. Ross Paterson said. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes. People recovering from the virus should seek professional health advice if they experience neurological symptoms."

Previously reported longterm effects of COVID-19 include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially life-threatening lung injury that could require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU), per Healthline.

“Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well," Dr. Andrew Martin told the outlet. "Viral respiratory infections can lead to anything from a simple cough that lasts for a few weeks or months to full-blown chronic wheezing or asthma."

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