Amid social distancing, connect online to avoid brain disease

A woman surfs the internet. People are being encouraged to maintain social connections online to avoid contracting Covid-19. FILE | FOTOSEARCH/ NATION

What you need to know:

  • Brain diseases come in different forms — including infections, trauma, stroke, seizures and tumours.

Amid social distancing, connect online to avoid brain disease

Scientists have linked the Covid-19 to brain damage and disorders in people with mild symptoms. Doctors may, therefore, be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by the coronavirus.

The first case of brain damage was reported in the United Kingdom, A 59-year-old woman died from the condition with the records showing more patients had inflammation of the central nervous system while others had brain disease with delirium.

Brain diseases come in different forms — including infections, trauma, stroke, seizures and tumours.

Trauma is a brain injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain function, sometimes with unconsciousness and confusion; traumatic head injuries cause concussions and may result in headache, accompanied by concentration and memory loss problems.

BRAIN DAMAGE

Brain damage is a kind of injury that causes the destruction or deterioration of brain cells. Traumatic brain injuries are head injuries but head injury is not necessarily brain injury. Traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury can both disrupt the brain’s normal functioning.

The severity of brain damage can vary with the type. Mild brain injury may be temporary, but for a severe brain injury, the person may suffer life-changing and debilitating problems. He or she will have cognitive, behavioural and physical disabilities.

Brain damage may occur when the brain is starved of oxygen for a prolonged period of time. When you have acute respiratory failure, your lungs might not be able to pump enough oxygen into your bloodstream or take enough carbon dioxide out of your body, resulting in several complications.

A study in China showed acute respiratory failure was the leading cause of death for 68 Chinese who had died of Covid-19.

How you respond to stress during the Covid-19 pandemic can depend on your background, social support from family or friends, one’s financial status, state of health, the community you live in and many other factors.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The changes that can happen because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the efforts in trying to contain the spread of the virus can affect one’s social support from family or friends, financials, health and emotions.

Providing social support can also make your siblings stronger. Especially during these times of increased social distancing, and quarantine for those suspected to have contracted the coronavirus.

People can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health, however. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel socially connected and also less lonely or isolated.

Taking care of your emotional health will help you to think clearly and react to the urgent need to protect yourself and others from disease.

Omulama Kelvin, Busia