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Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian on the THINK NEURO Podcast
August 18, 2021

Get Vaccinated to Avoid Stroke, Abnormal MRIs | Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian

by Anthony Effinger

The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger

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Episode 19: Show Notes

The Covid-19 virus is a shape-shifter. Two years into the pandemic, we’re still learning about the damage it can cause. One thing for sure: It causes more strokes, says Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian, a neurosurgeon at PNI. The virus invades the blood vessels and pushes certain cells into a “hypercoagulable state,” meaning that they gum up our arteries. Patients that are already prone to strokes are at the greatest risk, Dr. Barkhoudarian says. They may recover from Covid but have a devastating stroke in the meantime, risking grave injury or death. Less clear about Covid is the damage it appears to do to the brain. Covid survivors have arrived at PNI with headaches and “brain fog,” and their MRI scans show strange abnormalities, Dr. Barkhoudarian says. It’s unclear if those changes are lasting. One easy step to take: Get a vaccine. They are very safe and more effective than seasonal flu shots. “It’s amazing that we have these vaccines,” Dr. Barkhoudarian says. He compares their development to landing on the moon, developing the Internet, and mapping the human genome. Listen to this episode to find out more about Covid and the brain, and why Dr. Barkhoudarian has such confidence in vaccines.

About Dr. Barkhoudarian

Garni Barkhoudarian, MD
Garni Barkhoudarian, MD

Garni Barkhoudarian, MD, FAANS, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with a focus on skull base and minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. Dr. Barkhoudarian has particular interest and expertise in pituitary and parasellar tumors, brain tumors, skull-base tumors (including meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas and schwannomas), intra-ventricular brain tumors, colloid cysts, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and other vascular compression syndromes.

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About the Author

Anthony Effinger

Anthony Effinger

Think Neuro's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Last updated: May 19th, 2023