New Study Reveals COVID-19 Infections Increase Risk of Developing Brain Problems

New research showed an increased risk of developing neurological conditions in people who contracted COVID-19 within the first year after being infected.

The study was published in Nature Medicine on September 22, 2022, and is available for reading on the ScienceDaily website.

According to senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the study emphasizes a comprehensive assessment of potential long-term neurologic conditions after COVID-19 infection. Al-Aly is also a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University.

Al-Aly explained that past studies had looked into a narrower set of neurological outcomes for mostly hospitalized patients. However, their study has reached the extra mile, evaluating 44 brain and other neurologic disorders from hospitalized, non-hospitalized, and intensive care units (ICU), according to ScienceDaily,

What is worrisome is the long-term brain problems that COVID-19 infection could cause. Based on the study, they have noticed the following:

  • Neurological conditions previously individuals.
  • People who had mild infections.

In the first year after infection, the researchers said the increased risk of neurological conditions.

The comprehensive analysis of federal health data, the research reveals the following:

  • Memory problems.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Cognitive problems.
  • Stroke
  • Headache and migraine.
  • Movement disorders
  • Hearing or vision difficulty
  • Balance and Coordination difficulty
  • epileptic seizures

Furthermore, the study stressed that evidence supports the comprehensive analysis of neurological consequences of COVID-19 one year after the infection.

Also Read: Old Adults Who Contracted COVID-19 Are at Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease [Research]

In addition, she noted that few people in the study underwent COVID-19 vaccination because vaccines were not yet available during the research.

Al-Aly said that 40 million cases globally involving neurological conditions g were contributed by COVID-19 infection.


(Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The COVID-19 vaccines show that they can help reduce 20% of brain problems, according to the research of Al-Aly in Nature Medicine. 

The study emphasized the significance of COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent the impact of the virus on health, but it doesn’t provide 100% protection against neurologic problems.


Based on the study, the researchers analyzed the data set with statistical modeling:

  •  154,000 COVID-19-positive individuals from March 1, 2020, through January 15, 2021. It includes people who survived the first 30 days after being infected.
  • A control group of over 5.6 million patients with no COVID-19 during the time.
  • A control group of over 5.8 million people from March 2018 to December 31, 2019.

The researchers examined brain health for over a year, showing that neurological conditions found 7% more people with a history of COVID-19. It also revealed that

  • Memory problems, or brain fog, are the most common. People who tested positive for COVID-19 were at 77 increased risk of developing it.
  • An increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • People who contracted COVID-19 are seen to be 50% more likely for ischemic stroke, which could affect speaking, cause loss of feeling in the side of the body, cause difficulty speaking, confusion, brain damage, or death

Ultimately, the study recommends that governments and healthcare facilities must devise public health and prevention steps capable of managing the effects of COVID-19 after infection.

Related Article: Study on Bears’ Insulin Control May Advance the Treatment of Human Diabetes [Research]

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