Researchers relied on an existing database called the UK Biobank, which contains brain imaging data from over 45,000 people in the UK going back to 2014. This means — crucially — that there was baseline data and brain imaging of all of those people from before the pandemic.
The research team analyzed the brain imaging data and then brought back those who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 for additional brain scans. They compared people who had experienced COVID-19 to participants who had not, carefully matching the groups based on age, sex, baseline test date and study location, as well as common risk factors for disease, such as health variables and socioeconomic status.
The team found marked differences in gray matter — which is made up of the cell bodies of neurons that process information in the brain — between those who had been infected with COVID-19 and those who had not. …
In the general population, it is normal to see some change in gray matter volume or thickness over time as people age, but the changes were larger than normal in those who had been infected with COVID-19.
Interestingly, when the researchers separated the individuals who had severe enough illness to require hospitalization, the results were the same as for those who had experienced milder COVID-19. That is, people who had been infected with COVID-19 showed a loss of brain volume even when the disease was not severe enough to require hospitalization.
Finally, researchers also investigated changes in performance on cognitive tasks and found that those who had contracted COVID-19 were slower in processing information, relative to those who had not.
So, this Chinese bioweapon ages us and makes us stupid, even in mild cases not requiring hospitalization. No wonder the Chinese took such extreme steps to stop it infecting China.
What about the vaccines — do they affect the brain? How much aging do they cause?