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heresacorrection t1_jas3i1z wrote

Does being sick reduce your ability to form memories and remember? Yes

Confirmed in rats:

Is amnesia (completing forgetting events) associated with being sick? I would say very rarely - since the only documented cases I could find were mainly in the elderly where the infections cause significant brain damage.

EDIT: found a case in a younger person - so yes it could happen but is clearly so rare that doctors can publish a paper when it occurs


mschuster91 t1_jat12ky wrote

Covid has been linked to severe memory degradation (

Anecdata: was out sick for two weeks, can barely remember anything from that time. Friend was out sick for months and struggled with massive memory issues for even longer.

We barely have an idea how viral infections affect the human body, and we're only now after covid beginning to take the significant toll that post-viral infections can have seriously. The ME/CFS / EBV link goes into a similar direction and I would not be surprised if recent research linking Alzheimer, Parkinson and ALS to viral infections ( gets onto a more significant foundation as well.


Ieatadapoopoo t1_jatk910 wrote

Brain fog to an extreme degree for many, many months after being sick when I never had any previously, only cropping up after I caught Covid. It feels like such a clear link. I sincerely hope the silver lining here is that it helps propel our understanding of this topic.


JackTR314 t1_jatyoun wrote

I can try to find the study for you, but they infected brain organoids with covid, and then found hyper active immune cells, causing significantly fewer neuron synapses.

Basically a type of immune cells that normally cleaves axons and synapses as part of healthy function became over active. The reduced synapses were hypothesized to be a potential cause of the brain fog post covid.


Suitable_Success_243 t1_javonm9 wrote

ADHD has also been associated with an overactive immune system and chronic inflammation. Many ADHD patients also suffer from asthma, allergies and auto-immune disorders.

Also, this is why vaccines are important. Natural exposure provides immunity but at the cost of inflammation and damage to the body.


moonflower_C16H17N3O t1_jazn9st wrote

That would be great. I've got permanent brain fog. I wish I could take something that would help my brain repair itself. It's ridiculous how bad my recent memories are compared to my old ones. Also I have to try to work like a human thesaurus because very frequently I'll forget words and have to reach for a replacement.


Mrshaydee t1_jaup21w wrote

There’s, like, 10 days in my COVID experience that I don’t even remember. I had it pre-vaccine and it was brutal.


time2fly2124 t1_jaurjxj wrote

Probably a good thing you don't remember it. I remember alot of when I has covid, specifically that my body was was in pain for about a week until my room mate, who had lesser symptoms than me said "maybe you should go to a hospital". The whole time I also had these incredibly strange dreams that I was flying around new york city for some reason... also about a week after the hospital visit I had to drive (in a stick shift no less) and pick up 3 boxes of honey bees for my very first season, and I definitely remember thinking I should not be driving, but I had to. Miraculous that I didn't hit anyone or run any red-lights.. that I know of.


jraad86 t1_javen1g wrote

Covid brain fog was wild. Never experienced something like that before. I didn’t get very sick at all, extremely mild. But my brain was just mush. Forgetting if I’d done everyday tasks, re-doing things I had already done.


mschuster91 t1_jawivha wrote

Yeah I 'member being under the shower and apparently soaping myself three times because I forgot I'd just done that...


Chicken_Water t1_jaw4iw6 wrote

Covid infects the brain though and causes vascular damage. Most viruses don't do that.


Squirrel_Grip23 t1_jathxla wrote

Is ptsd considered being sick or a long term injury or something else?

How does ptsd affect the memory?


ColdPorridge t1_jauljxk wrote

PTSD can have huge impact on memory, even well beyond any traumatic events. I would dare say this might be one of the more defining aspects of PTSD for many.


tr0028 t1_jaukikp wrote

If you're in an activated state, you can't make memories. Trauma response and memory use two mutually exclusive parts of the brain..


MLGTryHard4Gold t1_javhmxs wrote

There’s no conclusive sum of factors though a big one is the Amygdala overactivation (and, if relevant, it’s growth in comparison to other parts during the onset of symptoms) causing difficulties with encoding, storing, and causing behaviors that worsen recall (and whatever affects recall is usually actively affecting the other two components of memory as well). The Amygdala in this situation, in comparison to the sick brain, is what is causing the memory defecit- as opposed to a random assortment of possibly damaged neurological components, that could include the amygdala (which is to say being sick can make neurons, parts of the frontal lobe, the back area of the brain responsible for vision, or all of them become damaged in some way, for example) and while the effects may be the same, PTSD may have been a risk factor for or an effect of receiving the brain injuries associated with a virus more times than not

Just to further elaborate, PTSD is a mental illness (though it’s common coupling with brain injuries is something if interest), whilst memory degradation from viruses, specifically from COVID, seems to be from either inappropriate immune system activation or neurological (like described above)/systemic damage (think possible gut biome or other body damage that may make it harder for you to do anything that was easier pre-COVID, like joint aches for example)

(for those reading whom are struggling with PTSD, please remember that it is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances)


Queasy-Bite-7514 t1_javtooo wrote

What about the smaller hippocampi and frontal lobe hypo activation? I don’t think we can say with certainty that it’s just the amygdala impeding memory acquisition.


MLGTryHard4Gold t1_jb0acji wrote

So the good news is that it’s not what I said, eh?

Whilst I can be sure that I can’t say with absolute certainty that the amygdala is the only thing involved, those other parts being affected would definitely not help with the picking of what to encode or store at the least


AbzoluteZ3RO t1_jav43nm wrote

Once when i was sick, i recalled a really important phone number that i had forgotten some 6 months prior. i made sure to write it down then


dbossman70 t1_jauxej5 wrote

doesn’t untreated syphilis have its own two cents when it comes to brain function?