Even mild Covid-19 can cause your brain to shrink

Even mild Covid-19 can cause your brain to shrink

by Sue Jones
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Recent brain imaging shows the disease can cause physical changes equivalent to a decade of aging and trigger problems with attention and memory. Exactly why is still a mystery.

After being bedridden with fever and coughing for three and half days, Elena Katzap thought COVID-19 was behind her. The writer and teacher in Los Angeles had contracted the virus at the end of January 2022, and she felt grateful that she got only a mild case—she didn’t have breathing difficulties and didn’t need to be hospitalized, and she recovered within days.

“I very specifically remember saying, God, it feels so good to be healthy again,” says Katzap. “Then all of a sudden, the very next day it smacked me, and I didn’t know what it was, because it started off with nausea and some stomach issues and some weird forgetfulness.”

Katzap has since experienced an acute loss of memory with poor concentration. She draws blanks in the middle of conversations, and words fail her mid-sentence. “It isn’t physically painful, but it’s so frustrating,” she laments.

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