As of today, the exact effects of COVID-19 on the human brain is yet to be determined. However, in the past various viral infections have been observed to affect the brain tissue indirectly. For instance, several viral infections in the past have been known to cause brain inflammation, lethargy, and damage to the central nervous system. 

In 1918, at the same time as the flu pandemic, the world faced an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica. People who suffered from this disease suffered from flu-like symptoms as well as inflammation of the brain. Many of the survivors even experienced severe lethargy and long-lasting behavioural changes. 

In addition to that, researchers identified that a few people who contracted the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV virus showed symptoms of damage to their central nervous system. 

As for the new coronavirus, a report from the Institute of Neurology identified and associated cases of delirium, brain inflammation, stroke, and nerve damage to COVID-19. So what does that imply? Will everyone who contracts the virus suffer from COVID-19? Let’s turn our attention to analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 on the human brain and get a deeper understanding of the disease.

Possible Implications Of COVID-19 On The Human Brain 

As mentioned earlier, the coronavirus effect on the human body is yet to be determined. However, some patients have observed the following symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Behavioral changes
  • Impact on mental well-being
  • Seizures
  • Loss of the sense of smell & taste
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

COVID-19 & Brain Inflammation

A study conducted by the Institute of Neurology at University College London identified the effects COVID-19 could possibly have on the human brain. The researchers in this study analyzed the participants’ clinical features of the brain scan as well as the laboratory tests to understand how coronavirus impacts the brain. 

The study identified that a few patients that contracted the virus also suffered from temporary brain dysfunction or encephalopathies, with delirium. A few other patients also experienced inflammation of the brain. While this may not necessarily mean that everyone who contracts the virus will suffer from brain inflammation, it’s best to consult a professional if you suffer from any of the symptoms.

COVID-19 & Psychological Stress 

COVID-19 Stress Affecting The Human Brain

COVID-19 can also affect the brain by deteriorating the psychological well being of a person. Fighting COVID-19 or seeing someone battle the disease can cause immense stress and deteriorate the mental well being. In addition to that, the uncertainty in the world, the economic crisis, and social isolation could contribute to further issues.  

If you have battled with the virus or if you know of someone who has, do recommend them to consult a professional who can help solve psychological issues.

COVID-19 & Guillain-Barré Syndrome

A study also found that COVID-19 could cause Guillain-Barre syndrome in many people. Guillain-Barre syndrome is often considered a dangerous medical condition because in this disorder a person’s immune system attacks healthy nerve networks. 

The Bottom Line 

Research around the impact of COVID-19 on the human brain is fairly new. So if you or any loved ones suffer from any neurological issues related to COVID-19 seek professional help immediately.


I am a content writer and I love writing on healthcare, telecommunication products, movies and more! When I am off the clock, you will probably find me exercising or binge-watching Netflix.

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