Many people with mild COVID-19 show cognitive problems

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In a new study, researchers found more evidence of cognitive dysfunction in many “long haul,” non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The research was conducted by a team at Northwestern University.

As the pandemic has worn on, media outlets continue to publish statistics regarding the number of infections and number of deaths from COVID-19—less attention has been paid to those people who were harmed by their infection but lived to tell medical personnel about their experiences.

In the study, the team analyzed medical data for non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 21 states who were experiencing long-term symptoms from the disease

The researchers found that approximately 85% of those patients they studied were reported to have had at least four neurological symptoms—the most common were brain fog, headaches and numbness or tingling.

Other common symptoms included loss of taste and/or smell, blurred vision, dizziness and ringing in the ears.

They noted that many of the patients described such symptoms as coming and going, and most reported their symptoms lasting for several months—some for as long as nine.

The researchers also found that many of those patients had reported feeling depressed or anxious prior to their infection, which could suggest a heightened risk of long-haul symptoms for people with similar conditions.

They also acknowledge that their study was small, but suggest it was large enough to show that long-haul patients may need more care than has been realized.

The study is published in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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