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COVID-19 Health Series: COVID-19 and the Brain, May 13

“Glassbrain,” by Adam Gazzaley, Roger Anguera Singla, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings and Matt Omernick; University of California, San Francisco.

The Library of Congress Health Services Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division have collaborated with two experts to speak with us and help provide information about COVID-19 associated brain disturbances and their genesis.

Please join us virtually for COVID-19 and the Brain on May 13, 2021 at 11:30 A.M. (E.D.T.).


  • Masaya Ikegawa MD, Ph.D. Professor of genomics, proteomics and biomedical functions in the Department of Life and Medical Systems at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan
  • Dorian A. Lamis, Ph.D, ABPP. Board certified licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Registration is required and limited to 1,000 participants. Please use the following link to register: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_oZH72TFbTa6t9XPUj1Zeow.

COVID-19 is a complex disease which not only causes respiratory problems, but can affect many different parts of the human body. The virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, attaches to a specific protein in the body called ACE-2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), this protein is the entry point for the virus. Since ACE-2 receptors exist throughout the body (lungs, heart, kidneys, intestine, and brain), the virus can bind with this receptor in almost any of your organs.

This session of our COVID-19 series provides knowledge and awareness of this viral infection and address its impact on the brain. Survivors of COVID-19 face an increased risk of neurologic disorders and a possible decline in brain function. This includes the possibility of developing psychiatric disorders that can appear up to six months after contracting the virus. Symptoms can range from the loss of sensory functions, such as smell, to the decline in cognitive functions which we call brain fog. Some research has shown that COVID-19 causes damage to the lining of small blood vessels in the brain which can create a blockage or the slowing of blood flow. This in turn can result in neurologic impairments, due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

In addition to neurologic problems, psychiatric deficiencies can arise. This includes the worsening of preexisting depression and anxiety, the onset of new psychiatric disorders, and increases in the occurrences of suicide. This presentation will cover some of these COVID-19 associated brain disorders and will give insight into what is causing them.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Photo credit: Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS (2020)

We hope this session of our COVID-19 series promotes further understanding of the current pandemic and encourages a dialogue among the audience and clinicians.

Individuals requiring accommodations for any of these events are asked to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

For more information about this webinar or to submit questions for the panelists in advance please use our Ask-a-Librarian Service. When submitting a question, please indicate that it is for the May 13 webinar.

Recordings of previous health events from our COVID-19 webinar series are available from the Library’s website and YouTube Channel:

Announcement written by Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D. and Ashley Cuffia, MLS, Science Reference Section, ST&B Division.

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