Researchers learn what's driving 'brain fog' in people suffe
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"COVID brain" or "brain fog" is characterized by confusion, headaches, and loss of short-term memory. In severe cases, it can lead to psychosis and even seizures. Researchers report an underlying cause of COVID brain: the presence of inflammatory molecules in the liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord - CSF.

SARS-CoV-2 infection induces a wide spectrum of neurologic dysfunction that emerges weeks after the acute respiratory infection. To better understand this pathology, researchers prospectively analyzed a cohort of cancer patients with neurologic manifestations of COVID-19, including a targeted proteomics analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid.

--Cancer patients with neurologic sequelae of COVID-19 harbor leptomeningeal inflammatory cytokines in the absence of viral neuroinvasion.

--The majority of these inflammatory mediators are driven by type II interferon and are known to induce neuronal injury in other disease states.

--In these patients, levels of matrix metalloproteinase-10 within the spinal fluid correlate with the degree of neurologic dysfunction.

--Furthermore, this neuroinflammatory process persists weeks after convalescence from an acute respiratory infection.

--These prolonged neurologic sequelae following systemic cytokine release syndrome lead to long-term neurocognitive dysfunction.

In particular, anti-inflammatory treatment(s) in the management of neurologic complications of COVID-19 infection can be beneficial.

Cancer Cell