Monday, February 12, 2024

Your Brain on Covid

 Long Covid is causing brain injuries, getting into bone marrow, and many hospitals still don't use N95s.

A study in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience last week compared the neuropsychiatric symptoms of 51 people with Covid-19 15 months post acute infection to 74 non-Covid controls. They found differences in gray matter volume (neurons) specifically in areas controlling language, and decreased neural activity and inflammation in many brain regions indicating cognitive impairment. Lots of prior studies found similar results here, here, herehere, here, here, here, and here. And I wrote about studies last April, Aug., Sept., Oct, and last month

The part that worries me in some of these studies is that some subjects report no subjective sense of cognitive decline, while an MRI shows otherwise. So, glass half full, they don't notice a problem, but, obviously, glass half empty, THEY DON'T NOTICE A PROBLEM. This is a danger to all of us on the road (and sidewalks) and in many professions where quick thinking is vital.

Another study published this month calls Covid-19's impact on the brain, 

"a silent epidemic within the pandemic. . . . patients displayed elevated levels of certain biomarkers consistent with brain injury and reduced brain volume. . . . findings provide concrete evidence of brain damage in Covid-19 patients."

If it's not enough that it affects the ability to think and process information and communicate - to be able to make jokes or understand the plot of movies with your friends and family - also being studied a lot these days is how Covid "seeds" in bone marrow: "Reservoir involvement is a huge deal. Once "seeded," the virus remains, as it has for those living with HIV." As Dr. Michael explains,

"This paper explicitly suggests that viral reservoirs in bone marrow must be to blame for mitochondrial dysfunction in lymphocytes, monocytes, NK cells, dendritic cells. This would be why the complement system is wacked. This is a big deal. A paper that acknowledges viral reservoirs and their origin as a cause for PBMC mitochondrial dysfunction is a big fucking deal. Once SARS2 is seeded in the bone marrow, nothing on the innate side works quite the same. It's a full picture. We've known about bone marrow reservoirs for some time, and they are the reason doctors are supposed to look out for hemotological diseases and cancers in Long Covid, but no one has connected these reservoirs directly to mitochondrial dysfunction in PBMCs. . . . Now we know that SARS2 is likely hi-jacking their production to impair innate immunity via the bone marrow. This is a big deal. (I'll keep saying it). This degree of Long Covid may likely be incurable for the foreseeable future unless it responds to latency reversal agents or bone marrow transplant."

It's possible to avoid it with N95s. In one hospital, they upgraded all face masks to N95-type masks (FFP3), and saw a 100% fall in hospital-acquired Covid infections among staff. Yet many hospitals still don't have any precautions in place throughout. Some just use surgical masks when they wear masks at all. Here's an extended explanation from ABC News posted today:

"Too many patients are catching the virus--and an alarming number are dying--as a result of inadequate infection control. . . .  Even basic precautions are not being taken: a consequence of hospitals' failure to address airborne transmission, and the pervasive myth that Covid is 'just a cold'. . . . More than one in 10 confirmed or suspected to have died as a result of their infection [from a hospital]. . . .  Healthcare workers were focused on handwashing despite Covid being airborne, Covid positive patients weren't being isolated, personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines weren't strong enough nor being enforcee.  . . . We know that Covid is not a simple respiratory illness, it's a multi-system inflammatory illness that needs to be taken seriously. . . . Well-fitted N95 respirators are 75 times more effective than surgical masks when both an infectious person and susceptible person wear them. Yet many hospitals have scaled back masking requirements. . . . Now workers who test positive can return to work after five days--when many are still infectious. . . . 
The N95s come out the second TB is mentioned. But there's a strange incongruence with Covid. . . . It may also require the threat of legal action--a reminder that hospitals have a duty of care to patients and an obligation to provide employees with a safe working environment. . . . If you work in a mine and you say, 'It's a bit onerous for me to have to go down the coal shaft every day wearing this PPE equipment', your employer will say, 'Well, you can't work here because Work Health and Safety legislation says we have to take reasonable practical steps to keep you safe'. Healthcare is not immune from the same laws." 

Keep your brain alive with an N95.

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