Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A team of our neuroimaging researchers will lead this study, which has received a grant from the University of Oxford's COVID-19 Research Response Fund.

MRI scanner from the control room

COVID-19 adversely affects the brain. Around 36 per cent of hospitalised patients show symptoms ranging from loss of sense of smell, to strokes, and seizures. Concerns are growing that COVID-19 may cause long-term harmful neurological effects including cognitive impairment, mental health disorders, and chronic breathing difficulties. This may arise from the direct viral invasion of the brain, or autoimmune responses to the infection, or indirect effects of severe systemic illness.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a team led by Associate Professor Kyle Pattinson will quantify brain abnormalities associated with COVID-19 infection. Their aim is to collect proof-of-concept data that will leverage funding for further multi-centre research collaborations. The eventual outcome will be brain markers to direct individualised treatments improving both short- and long-term outcomes from COVID-19.

The team will undertake two observational studies: an acute study in hospitalised patients and a follow-up study, using high-resolution brain-stem MRI, performed 3-6 months later, after patients have been discharged from hospital. In this way, the researchers will be able to characterise the brain structural, functional, and cerebrovascular effects of COVID-19 infection, establish quantitative relationships between clinical/bedside measures of COVID-19 and neuroimaging measures, and provide preliminary data sets for future discovery of novel biomarkers.

Similar stories

Accidental awareness in obstetric surgery under general anaesthesia more frequent than expected

Anaesthetics Research

The largest ever study of awareness during obstetric general anaesthesia shows around 1 in 250 women may be affected, and some may experience long-term psychological harm.

Two neurologists awarded MRC Senior Clinical Fellowships

Clinical Neurology Research

Two of our Associate Professors, Sarosh Irani and George Tofaris, have been awarded MRC Senior Clinical Fellowships.

Developing diagnostics for COVID-19

Clinical Neurology Coronavirus Research

Associate Professor Sarosh Irani, who heads up our Autoimmune Neurology Group, has been funded by Mologic to help develop diagnostics for COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome

Clinical Neurology Coronavirus Research

Multiple recent case reports have suggested a link between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an acute, disabling, immune-mediated disorder of the peripheral nervous system. It is currently unclear whether this simply represents a chance association.

Low-cost ventilator wins at E&T Innovation Awards

Anaesthetics Award Coronavirus

The OxVent is a rapidly deployable and scalable low-cost mechanical ventilator specially designed for COVID-19, which has now been recognised as one of the best innovations of the year by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.