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Media opportunity: Dalhousie University researcher hopes to unravel the mystery of cognitive impairment ‑‑ or brain fog ‑‑ linked to severe cases of COVID‑19

Posted by Communications and Marketing on May 30, 2022 in News

For many who experience severe cases of COVID-19, symptoms can drag on for weeks, months and even years, leaving some patients with persistent fatigue, muscle weakness and sleep disorders well after the acute effects of the disease have eased. Many also are left with an array of cognitive impairments, such as confusion, word-finding difficulties, memory lapses, dizziness or an inability to focus.

The neurological deficits -- or 'brain fog' -- are becoming a concerning hallmark of COVID-19 and one that has so far eluded scientists trying to understand the underlying biology and determine the cause.

Researchers at Dalhousie University are hoping to shed light on the phenomenon by evaluating brain abnormalities resulting from the disease -- something estimated to affect 15 per cent of survivors.

Dr. Carlos Hernandez Castillo, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, is launching a study that will involve analyzing a large sample of data from clinical assessments, cognitive scores and brain magnetic resonance imaging of people who have recently had COVID-19.

Participants will perform a battery of cognitive tasks in one session and then images will be taken of their brain using an MRI scanner in a bid to examine how the COVID-19 infection can affect cognitive function.

Dr. Hernandez Castillo is available to discuss the unique research project and how his work will

provide the first characterization of the diverse neurological damage and related cognitive impairments resulting from COVID-19. As a result, that will inform treatments for long-haul patients.


Media contact:
Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University
Cell: 1-902-220-0491


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