A recent UK study indicates that blood clots in the brain or lungs might be a contributing factor to the common symptoms of “long Covid,” including brain fog and fatigue.
Researchers from the universities of Oxford and Leicester analyzed 1,837 individuals who had been hospitalized due to Covid and found that two blood proteins were associated with blood clots, which could explain cognitive issues experienced by some patients.
Approximately 16% of individuals who were hospitalized due to Covid report difficulty thinking, concentrating, or remembering for at least six months.
The study focused on patients admitted to hospitals and tracked cognitive problems at six and twelve months through tests and questionnaires.
The researchers emphasized that their findings are preliminary and further research is needed to explore potential treatments and understand the complexities of long Covid.
The study’s lead author, Prof Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford, noted that while identifying predictors and mechanisms for post-Covid brain fog is a crucial step, there are likely various causes for long Covid that stem from a combination of pre-existing health conditions, the acute illness, and the aftermath.
Dr. Simon Retford, who experienced Covid-related complications, highlighted the lingering effects of long Covid, including issues with concentration, short-term memory, and fatigue.
The study, published in Nature Medicine, attributes higher levels of the protein fibrinogen and the protein fragment D-dimer to brain fog. These proteins are associated with blood clotting, and the findings support the theory that blood clots play a role in post-Covid cognitive problems.
Dr. Max Taquet from Oxford explained that fibrinogen could potentially impact the brain and its blood vessels directly, while D-dimer levels often correlate with blood clots in the lungs, potentially leading to brain issues due to oxygen deficiency.
The study further revealed that individuals with elevated D-dimer levels also experienced extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, and difficulty maintaining employment.
A similar US study has also reported comparable results. The study authors underline the complexity of “long Covid” and stress that their findings are specific to hospitalized patients, with the need for more research to better comprehend the condition and its potential treatments.Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874