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In Focus

I suffered from post-viral depression - and my gut health may have been to blame

After a nasty bout of Covid, Flic Everett felt hopeless and a deep sense of despair. She knew it was a common if unpleasant side- effect of the illness. And then she discovered some astonishing research about the ‘gut-brain axis’ and how it controls our mood…

Wednesday 31 January 2024 17:19 GMT
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Covid hasn’t gone away and the much-vaunted “living with it” is no fun, either. In the four years since the pandemic began, we’ve learned just how miserable a bout of the virus can be – and often, it doesn’t end when you have “recovered”.

A new study from Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University has found that depression is a common post-viral symptom as Covid-19 can infect brain cells related to mood regulation and stress, and lead to disrupted dopamine production (the neurons are attacked by the virus) and inflammation in the brain.

The findings explain the depression, anxiety and brain fog which many report as a post-viral symptom – one study from Washington University, Missouri, even suggests that as many as 35 per cent experienced depressive feelings after recovering from Covid.

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