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Could mild COVID symptoms lead to brain damage?

What to know about the link between COVID-19 symptoms and brain damage

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An illustration by the omicron variant.

What to know about the link between COVID-19 symptoms and brain damage

Illustration by Zoe Peterson, Deseret News

People with mild COVID-19 symptoms from the novel coronavirus can sometimes suffer long-term neurological damage, according to a recent study.

The news: A new study from Yale University researchers — which has not been peer-reviewed but can be read onbioRxiv — looked into how mice reacted to a COVID-19 infection and what happened to their brains.

  • In mild infections, there was “some significant damage in the cells of the brain,” Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist with the Yale School of Medicine, told NBC Connecticut.
  • “This means that even a mild respiratory infection could lead to neurological symptoms; that’s based on the damage that we see,” he said.

Why it matters: Iwasaki said the hope is for researchers to learn more about how long COVID-19 symptoms start and why people will suffer long-term brain damage from a mild infection.

The bigger picture: For years now, researchers have been analyzing the link between COVID-19 and the disease’s effects on the brain.