Brain inflammation found in two patients with Long Covid: Researchers

AMSTERDAM - Researchers at Amsterdam UMC and UMC Utrecht have found inflammation throughout the brains of two patients with long-term complaints after a coronavirus infection. According to the researchers, this is the first time brain inflammation has been demonstrated in living people with Long Covid. 


"We would like to know why people have symptoms of fatigue and cognitive complaints so long after a coronavirus infection," said nuclear medicine doctor Bart van Berckel of Amsterdam UMC. "The fact that we now see inflammation throughout the brain is striking, and there may be a connection between Long Covid and that global brain inflammation. Hopefully, a study with a larger number of patients will provide more clarity on this." 


The disease took different courses in the two patients studied. The male patient was in ICU and is now partially back at work. The younger female had mild coronavirus complaints and is still at home under the Sickness Benefits Act. In both, brain inflammation can be seen throughout the brain.  


It is unknown how patients with such inflammation can be treated and whether every patient with Long Covid shows the same inflammatory response. "We don't know a lot yet, but these were the first two patients with long-term Covid to be included in this study, and we felt that the data were too important not to publish at this stage," the researchers said. That is why the study is now available in preprint. The study has not yet been for peer review. A preprint study gives other scientists the chance to learn from it and work together for better results. 


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