Ask Dr. Nandi: COVID-19 Impact on Young Brains

Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 17:52:52-04

(WXYZ) — Doctors are continuing to learn more about the novel coronavirus and how it affects young people. A recent study suggests COVID-19 may have a lasting impact on some children’s brains.

This is a very important finding. It suggests COVID-19 could cause long term damage to the brain in some children.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It focused on 27 British children who had suffered from the recently recognized illness known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. That’s the complication that caused some children’s immune system to kick into overdrive after being infected with coronavirus.

Four of the children in the study developed neurological side effects. They experienced impaired brain function, headaches, brainstem, and cerebellar issues, muscle weakness, and reduced reflexes.

Doctors don’t know exactly what’s at the root of the problem. It could be a response to the child having the rare inflammatory syndrome. Or it could be connected directly to how the virus impacts the brain. Or it may be the result of the child being severely sick with the virus.

A larger international study is underway to find more answers and to identify possible treatments relating to the brain and COVID-19.

All of the children were healthy prior to developing the inflammatory condition linked to COVID-19. It’s also interesting that none of them ever experienced respiratory issues.

However, this new study raises the question of whether COVID-19 will impact a child’s brain growth since their brains are still developing. And it shows the importance of monitoring their long term psychological and psychiatric health.

There have been neurological issues reported in adults with the coronavirus. Some patients have experienced dizziness, headaches, impaired consciousness, seizures, slurred speech, and stumbling. Also, two British studies linked COVID-19 to neurological issues in adults.

However, it can be difficult to distinguish whether the problems are the result of psychiatric or medical issues. There’s much more research that has to be done to determine the cause of neurological damage in some COVID-19 patients.

On this week’s Dr. Nandi Show, you’ll learn how you can fight disease through yoga and meditation. Dr. Partha Nandi, MD talks with Detroit’s very own Dr. Gail Parker, PhD who shares her methods of healthiness through yoga therapy. Also joining the discussion is actress Leila Almas who reveals how her career was saved through meditative practice. Plus, a discussion on meditation and how it’s important to fight sickness along with breathing method demonstrations to aid in finding your spiritual center. Join Dr. Nandi and his guests this Saturday, August 8th at 5 PM.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.