News ID: 100363
Publish Date : 23 February 2022 - 22:00

Pandemic-Related Stressors Linked With Brain Health

NEW YORK (Dispatches) -- According to Massachusetts General Hospital researchers , experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic may trigger brain inflammation that contributes to fatigue, concentration difficulties, and depression.
The researchers analyzed brain imaging data, conducted behavioral tests, and collected blood samples from multiple uninfected volunteers -- 57 before and 15 after lockdown/stay-at-home measures were implemented to limit the pandemic’s spread.
Participants who reported a higher burden of symptoms related to mood and mental and physical fatigue showed higher levels of translocator protein in certain brain regions, compared with those reporting little or no symptoms. Also, higher post-lockdown translocator protein levels correlated with the expression of several genes involved in immune functions.
Senior author Marco L. Loggia, PhD, co-director of the Center for Integrative Pain NeuroImaging at MGH and Harvard Medical School notes that these findings also provide further support to the notion that stressful events might be accompanied by brain inflammation. He says that this could have important implication for developing interventions for a broad number of stress-related disorders.