Brain Foundation crowdfunds for research into the influence of corona on the brain


High fever, loud cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing: these are the most common symptoms of someone with a coronavirus infection. However, in the meantime, the virus is also known to cause permanent damage to various vital organs. Think of lung damage or ‘long corona’ – in which especially people who have few symptoms remain severely tired for months. Recent research by Amsterdam UMC now shows that the virus is also more harmful to the brain than previously thought. The Brain Foundation is therefore starting a crowdfunding campaign for research into the effect of corona on the brain. Another 60,000 euros is needed to start an investigation into the cause of the damage.

The coronavirus can cause serious brain damage in several ways during and after infection. ‘Research by the Amsterdam UMC has shown that the immune system in the brain is running wild,’ says director Merel Heimens Visser. ‘In addition, some people get oxygen deprivation in the blood and therefore also in the brain, the virus can cause inflammation of the brain or disrupt blood clotting, resulting in cerebral infarctions. The long stay in intensive care is also very harmful to the brain. Many patients are left with permanent cognitive complaints. ‘

‘Research among survivors’

Researchers can gain a better picture of the consequences of the coronavirus, but how the virus works in the brain is still unknown. ‘The study was currently carried out on deceased corona patients. That is precisely why it is so important now to investigate the possible brain damage in those who have survived the virus, ‘explains Prof. Caroline van Heugten, researcher at Maastricht University. ‘If we know who gets which complaints and why, we can better treat, limit or even prevent damage to corona patients.’

The research requires an amount of 325,000 euros, of which 265,000 euros has already been received. As soon as the starting amount is reached, van Heugten will lead the research together with Dr Janneke Horn (Amsterdam UMC).

Heimens Visser: ‘The more people donate, the sooner the researchers can start the research. So everyone’s help is desperately needed. ‘

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