SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — We’re well past the two-year pandemic mark and we’ve learned a lot about COVID-19 along the way. Even with all the gained knowledge, doctors are just now getting a deeper sense of how it attacks different parts of the body. Specifically, the brain.

Dr. Fahed Saada, a neurologist at St. Joseph’s Health, says some patients don’t suffer from neurological complications, but there are a lot of people who do.

“36% of COVID patients manifest neurological complications.”

Dr. Fahed Saada, Neurologist

Those complications can include anything from fatigue and change in concentration to loss of memory and sleep disorders. Some even suffer from depression.

So how does the virus make its way into the brain?

Saada says the COVID-causing virus attaches to receptors in the lungs, nose, and around the lining of the brain.

What really concerns Saada is that the CDC found 35% of long-haulers have symptoms for up to six months.

Some patients are clearly too sick to work or go back to work, but do not have the evidence to meet that threshold. There isn’t any objective medical test to take patients off work.

Dr. Fahed Saada

The other troubling trend Saada sees is in his patients with a family history of Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“They seem to be coming in with memory problems. Now, we haven’t followed these patients long enough to say these memory problems are getting better, or is this an earlier onset of a condition like Dementia or Alzheimer’s,” Saada said.

It could be years before researchers have that answer. So, if you are having lingering symptoms from COVID-19, whether that’s headaches, depression, or brain fog, your best bet is to call your doctor.

If you feel depressed, Saada says you should also call your doctor to rule out any other health implications that could be causing that, such as a thyroid issue or another metabolic issue.