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NEW DELHI: Covid-19 may have adverse neurological effect on patients with brain cysts, with men more likely to suffer severe complications, experts warned on Thursday. Approximately 1.2% of the general population is affected by brain cysts, with smaller cysts mostly going unnoticed and untreated.

“The symptoms of a brain cyst depend on the location and size of the cyst. Some small cysts may not show any symptoms but often become troublesome once they increase in size. Symptoms can either be because of the pressure put by a cyst on brain tissue or disruption of normal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a protective fluid that creates a cushion around the brain. Headache is the most common symptom of brain cysts; therefore, it is extremely important that if a chronic headache is accompanied by any other symptoms, one should consult a specialist. Other symptoms include nausea & vomiting, hearing loss, vision loss, facial pain, balance problems, dizziness, and seizures," said Dr Manish Vaish, director, department of neurosurgery, Max Super Specialty Hospital.

He added that post covid, patients need to take extra precaution attend to all symptoms

Diagnosis of cysts often happen in the course of a work-up for some other reason. However, in patients where the quality of life is affected by cysts, the diagnosis is through physical examination and image tests like CT scans and MRI, he said.

“Brain cysts with no symptoms are often not treated with any intervention and your doctor is likely to monitor these through scans. Depending on the size, symptoms, and location the available option for cyst management is Image-guided cyst drainage, surgical cyst removal or placement of a shunt. The shunt is bypass created to the continuous flow of the CSF,",Vaish said.

According to National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, many neurological symptoms of COVID-19 are likely a result of the body’s widespread immune response to infection rather than the virus directly infecting the brain or the nervous system. In some people, SARS-CoV-2 causes an overreactive response of the immune system which can also damage body systems. Changes in the immune system have been seen in studies of the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the brain, in people who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

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