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Scans reveal how Covid may change the brain

But the researchers do not know whether the changes are reversible or truly matter for health and wellbeing.

(Rebecca Morelle/ BBC) — Catching Covid may cause changes to the brain, a study suggests.

Scientists found significant differences in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans before and after infection.

Even after a mild infection, the overall size of the brain had shrunk slightly, with less grey matter in the parts related to smell and memory.

The researchers do not know whether the changes are permanent but stressed the brain could heal.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Lead author Prof Gwenaelle Douaud, from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, at the University of Oxford, said: “We were looking at essentially mild infection, so to see that we could really see some differences in their brain and how much their brain had changed compared with those who had not been infected was quite a surprise.” (…)