After recovering from COVID infections the patients face unusual neurological symptoms. It includes fatigue, memory loss, confusion, and other abnormalities. This has been noticed by the doctors all around the world. The cause for these abnormalities known as ‘brain fog’ or ‘COVID brain’ has been identified.
Patients who were affected by COVID had persistent inflammation and high levels of cytokines in their cerebrospinal fluid.
Cytokines are a broad category of proteins that are involved with signalling in the immune system.
In some cases of coronavirus, an over-production of these molecules results in what’s known as a cytokine storm, which can cause excessive inflammation and is potentially deadly.
A similar phenomenon showing high levels of inflammatory cytokines is sometimes seen as a side effect of chimeric antibody receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, an immunotherapy treatment, which can also produce confusion, delirium, and other neurological effects that bear a resemblance to COVID brain fog.
The findings suggest anti-inflammatory drugs might be helpful in mitigating brain fog in patients, and could highlight new directions in terms of diagnosing this strange, lingering malaise. The findings are reported in Cancer Cell.