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Study: Even mild COVID-19 can cause brain shrinkage

A new study in the journal Nature found that even mild cases of COVID-19 can cause shrinkage in certain regions of the brain.

Kathleen Rodgers is the associate director for the Center of Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona.

She says this study was impressive because researchers were able to look at MRI scans from before the pandemic.

“And therefore we’re able to know what hyperintensities are problems in the brain might have been there ahead of time,” Rodgers said. “That’s unique, because we haven’t had pre COVID imaging available yet to compare with post COVID imaging.”

Rodgers says Researchers also observed cognitive changes. The study looked at scans from people between the ages of 51 and 81 and she says brain changes were magnified with age.

Get the latest news on COVID-19 in Arizona

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.