Simple Ways To Lower Inflammation And Boost Your Health
Since the long-term consequences of COVID-19 are becoming increasingly recognized, if you have not been infected with it, its imperative that you continue to follow recommended guidelines to protect yourself from this virus. If you have had itand particularly if you still struggle with lingering symptomstaking measures to lower inflammation is of utmost importance.
The good news is that there are some easy changes you can make that can have a positive impact on your health. Here are 7 simple ways to decrease inflammation in your body and brain:
More Proof Covid Severely Affects The Brain
The most comprehensive molecular study to date of brain tissue from people who died of COVID-19 provides clear evidence that SARS-CoV-2 causes profound molecular changes in the brain, despite no molecular trace of the virus in brain tissue.
“The signature the virus leaves in the brain speaks of strong inflammation and disrupted brain circuits and resembles signatures the field has observed in Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases,” senior author Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, told Medscape Medical News.
The study was June 21 in Nature.
Video: This Is How Coronavirus Attacks Brain Cells
- 25 Aug 2021
A videograb image shows the virus spread between a mass of gray dots .
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
In a revolutionary discovery in the Nikon’s Small World, for imaging through a light microscope, a video clip appeared of the moment the new coronavirus penetrated the brain cells of a bat, according to US media.
The media quoted researchers Sophie-Marie Aicher and Dr Delphine Planas, that the imaging showed how the coronavirus infiltrates brain cells quickly and aggressively.
They confirmed that the clip was filmed over 48 hours, with an image being recorded every 10 minutes.
They show the virus as red spots spread between a mass of gray dots .
After these cells become infected, the bat cells begin to fuse with neighboring cells.
At some point, the entire mass ruptures, leading to cell death.
The clip reveals how a pathogen transforms cells into virus-making factories before causing the host cell to die.
The same scenario that occurs in bats, Eicher said, also occurs in humans, with one important difference being that “in the end, bats do not get sick.”
Every time the virus has to exit the cell, it is in danger of being detected, she added.
So if it can go directly from one cell to another, it can work faster.
In humans, the coronavirus can evade, causing further damage in part by preventing infected cells from alerting the immune system to the presence of an invader.
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No Virus In Brain Cells
The study examined the brains of 41 patients with COVID-19 who succumbed to the disease during their hospitalization. The patients ranged in age from 38 to 97 about half had been intubated and all had lung damage caused by the virus. Many of the patients were of Hispanic ethnicity. There was a wide range of hospital length with some patients dying soon after arrival to the emergency room while others remained in the hospital for months. All of the patients had extensive clinical and laboratory investigations, and some had brain MRI and CT scans.
To detect any virus in the neurons and glia cells of the brain, the researchers used multiple methods including RNA in situ hybridization, which can detect viral RNA within intact cells antibodies that can detect viral proteins within cells and RT-PCR, a sensitive technique for detecting viral RNA.
Despite their intensive search, the researchers found no evidence of the virus in the patients brain cells. Though they did detect very low levels of viral RNA by RT-PCR, this was likely due to virus in blood vessels or leptomeninges covering the brain.
If theres any virus present in the brain tissue, it has to be in very small amounts and does not correlate with the distribution or abundance of neuropathological findings, Canoll says.
Tackling Persistent Cognitive Impairment
Now, Uswatte explained, we have turned our attention to patients with persisting cognitive impairment after recovering from COVID-19. Brain scans showing significant rewiring after CI Therapy had long since convinced Taub and Uswatte that the technique could restore cognitive function in the same way it restored a persons ability to move their arms or legs. We found in the motor rehabilitation work that the therapy is effective for a number of different types of brain damage, Uswatte said.
The researchers first worked specifically on cognitive effects by developing therapy for aphasia, the loss of speech ability that is common after stroke. At the end of two years, several patients who came in with substantial speech deficits after stroke were back to normal, Taub said.
During the past several years, the researchers, in collaboration with University Professor Karlene Ball, Ph.D., also in the Department of Psychology, have developed a form of CI Therapy, CI Cognitive Therapy, that combines speed-of-processing training with the procedures they use to transfer improvements made in the lab into patients everyday lives. Ball has developed a computer-based speed-of-processing training that has shown remarkable efficacy in helping older people maintain their ability to drive. Up to six years after they have gone through her training, participants reduce their risk of an at-fault crash by half, according to the NIH-funded ACTIVE randomized, controlled multi-site trial.
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How To Prevent Brain
The injuries resembled those from a series of tiny strokes occurring in many different areas of the brain, Nath says.
The finding may explain why COVID-19 patients have such a wide range of brain-related symptoms, Nath says, including some related to brain areas that control functions such as heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.
“They complain of heart racing,” he says, or that “when they stand up they get quite dizzy. Or they can have urinary problems.”
Still others report feeling extreme fatigue, which can also be caused by a brain injury.
What’s more, the inflammation and leaky blood vessels associated with all these symptoms may make a person’s brain more vulnerable to another type of damage.
“We know that those are important in Alzheimer’s disease and we’re seeing them play a key role here in COVID-19,” says Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association. “And what that may mean in later life, we need to be asking that question now.”
So the association and researchers from more than 30 countries have formed a consortium to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain. The effort will enroll people who were hospitalized or who are already participating in international research studies of COVID-19.
Loss Of Smell And Taste
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sixty-four percent of people with coronavirus reported a loss of smell or taste. A recent CDC survey found this tends to last, on average, eight days. But some people experience it for weeks. Like so many facets of COVID-19, health experts aren’t sure why this happens.
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Other Factors That May Contribute To Brain Fog
As mentioned above, inflammation in and around your brain may contribute to brain fog. However, there are other ways that COVID-19 may indirectly lead to brain fog as well.
Some possible contributing factors include:
Researchers are still working to understand how common brain fog is in people whove had COVID-19.
One recent showed that between 7.5 to 31 percent of people experience an altered mental state as a symptom of COVID-19. However, this estimation was based on small studies and may not be applicable to a larger population.
Another recent study reports that neurological symptoms could be more widespread than originally thought and may occur in up to 69 percent of people whove had severe illness with COVID-19.
At this time, its not clear why some people develop brain fog and others dont. People with severe cases of COVID-19 seem to be at a
Coronavirus: What Does Covid
Stroke, delirium, anxiety, confusion, fatigue – the list goes on. If you think Covid-19 is just a respiratory disease, think again.
As each week passes, it is becoming increasingly clear that coronavirus can trigger a huge range of neurological problems.
Several people who’ve contacted me after comparatively mild illness have spoken of the lingering cognitive impact of the disease – problems with their memory, tiredness, staying focused.
But it’s at the more severe end that there is most concern.
Chatting to Paul Mylrea, it’s hard to imagine that he had two massive strokes, both caused by coronavirus infection.
The 64-year-old, who is director of communications at Cambridge University, is eloquent and, despite some lingering weakness on his right side, able-bodied.
He has made one of the most remarkable recoveries ever seen by doctors at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.
His first stroke happened while he was in intensive care at University College Hospital. Potentially deadly blood clots were also found in his lungs and legs, so he was put on powerful blood-thinning drugs.
A couple of days later he suffered a second, even bigger stroke and was immediately transferred to the NHNN in Queen Square.
Consultant neurologist Dr Arvind Chandratheva was just leaving hospital when the ambulance arrived.
“I immediately thought that the blood thinners had caused a bleed in the brain, but what we saw was so strange and different.”
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How Do Patients Know If The Virus Has Reached The Central Nervous System
Patients should monitor disease progression to look out for neurological symptoms they didn’t have before they were diagnosed with COVID-19. New symptoms are likely linked with infection.
Costa says that some people could be at greater risk, explaining, “There are certain conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, where the blood-brain barrier is usually compromised. This, in principle, could make the central nervous system more susceptible to viral infection.”
Costa says that it’s unclear how long the virus stays active within the central nervous system, but that the virus may change the way cells behave for a considerable amount of time, causing inflammatory factors that counteract health and harm cells. This could lead to longer recovery times or long-haul experiences.
Persistent Neurological Problems In Survivors
Goldman says that more research is needed to understand the reasons why some post-COVID-19 patients continue to experience symptoms.
The researchers are now examining autopsies on patients who died several months after recovering from COVID-19 to learn more.
They are also examining the brains from patients who were critically ill with acute respiratory distress syndrome before the COVID-19 pandemic to see how much of COVID-19 brain pathology is a result of the severe lung disease.
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Q: How Is Johns Hopkins Studying Impacts On The Brain Associated With Covid
A: Were investigating selected cases by conducting the appropriate studies and imaging, such as MRIs, electroencephalograms and samples of spinal fluid. However, it can be challenging to get these studies. Our patients with COVID-19 can be extremely weak and even confused, so we need to balance treating their immediate medical needs with information gathering to better understand how we can help fight the virus in others who may develop this condition in the future.
Are Treatments Available For Restoring These Senses
A lack of research means few established treatments exist. But one option is smell training, in which people sniff prescribed odours regularly to relearn them. Hopkins is working with a charity called AbScent in Andover, UK, to get the word out to the public about this training. There is evidence from before the pandemic that it can improve smell function in some people with such impairments, but it doesnt seem to work for everyone.
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What This Means If You Have A Chronic Illness That Affects The Brain
People with chronic conditions that affect the brain report significant worsening of their condition in both severity and frequency if they contract COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 launches a robust cytokine inflammatory response within the body, worsening conditions that are affected by inflammation, such as migraine, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, says Dr. Kuruvilla. The symptoms in these conditions worsen due to this inflammatory storm, making pain difficult to treat. The use of nerve pain medications can be helpful in these cases, whether they are caused or worsened by COVID-19, she says.
Other specifics on the impact of COVID-19 on various underlying chronic conditions:
- Depression: People report feeling more down and helpless after becoming sick.
- Multiple sclerosis: Recovery from COVID-19 for those with this autoimmune disease has been slower, says Dr. Kuruvilla.
- Parkinsons disease: Its very common for PD symptoms to worsen when people develop another disease. For instance, people with Parkinsons who develop COVID-19 may find it more difficult than normal to walk.
Neurological symptoms of varying types can occur with any severity of COVID-19, says Dr. Thomas. I personally know four people who suffered altered sense of smell and taste as the only manifestations, he says. On the other hand, we see COVID-related stroke more in people who are quite sick.
Protect Yourself From Getting Covid
Avoiding contact with COVID-19 is key to safeguarding your health. Its important to do all the things youve likely already been doing to reduce the chance of getting or spreading the virus:
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This will protect yourself as well as others.
- Practice social distancing. For now, experts say you should assume that everyone you encounter in your daily life could be infected with the coronavirus as many as half of the people who test positive for the virus have no symptoms and, according to new research, more than half of transmission comes from asymptomatic people. This makes it very important to stay at home if possible avoid gatherings and non-essential trips and to keep at least six feet apart from people who arent in your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
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How Does Coronavirus Affect The Brain
Patients with COVID-19 are experiencing an array of effects on the brain, ranging in severity from confusion to loss of smell and taste to life-threatening strokes. Younger patients in their 30s and 40s are suffering possibly life-changing neurological issues due to strokes. Although researchers dont have answers yet as to why the brain may be harmed, they have several theories.
Critical care physician and neurointensivist Robert Stevens, M.D., who is the associate director of the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Neurocritical Care, has been tracking cases at Johns Hopkins in which patients with COVID-19 also have neurological problems. And, thanks to a new research consortium of more than 20 institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, New York University, Johns Hopkins and health systems in Europe, researchers, including Stevens, are using imaging and tests of blood and spinal fluid to understand how the coronavirus operates so they can prevent and treat effects on the brain.
Stevens explains some of the prevailing scientific theories.
The Science Behind How The Coronavirus Affects The Brain
New research could help explain why thousands of Covid-19 survivors are facing debilitating neurological symptoms months after initially getting sick. WSJ breaks down the science behind how the coronavirus affects the brain, and what this could mean for long-haul patients. Illustration: Nick Collingwood/WSJ
News moves fast, and there’s not always time to untangle the complex forces driving the day’s biggest stories. WSJ Explains breaks down big market moves, business and economic trends, and scientific developments to help you stay ahead of the curve.
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Infecting Neurons With Devastating Consequences
Other researchers have focused on how the new coronavirus infects neurons and damages brain tissue.
For example, a team led by Akiko Iwasaki, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven, CT, used lab-grown, miniature 3D organ reproductions to analyze how SARS-CoV-2 invades the brain.
The study, which appears in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, showed that the new coronavirus was able to infect neurons in these lab-grown organoids and replicate itself by boosting the metabolism of infected cells. Simultaneously, healthy, uninfected neurons in the vicinity died as their oxygen supply was cut off.
The researchers also determined that blocking the ACE2 receptors prevented the virus from infecting the human brain organoids.
The scientists also analyzed the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the brains of mice genetically modified to produce human ACE2 receptors. Here, the virus altered the brains vasculature, or blood vessels. This could, in turn, cut off the brains oxygen supply.
Furthermore, the mice with an infection that had spread to the brain had much more severe illness than those with an infection limited to the lungs.