Even mild COVID-19 can cause your brain to shrink

The 785 participants, between 51 and 81 years old, who had already been scanned before the start of the pandemic, were scanned on average three years apart as part of the U.K. Biobank project. Tests or medical records showed that 401 of these volunteers had become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Most had mild infections; only 15 of the 401 were hospitalized. The results showed that four and half months after a mild COVID infection, patients had lost, on average, between 0.2 and 2 percent of brain volume and had thinner gray matter than healthy people. By comparison, older adults lose between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of their gray matter each year in the hippocampus, a region linked to memory.