Many people recovered from COVID-19 get cognitive problems

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In a recent study published in EClinicalMedicine, researchers found evidence of cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

They found that those with more severe COVID-19 symptoms scored lower on an online series of tests, with performance on reasoning and problem-solving tasks being most affected.

Further analysis of the data indicated that those who received mechanical ventilation to help them breathe while in the hospital had the greatest impairment on cognitive tasks.

The study is from King’s College London and elsewhere. One author is Dr. Adam Hampshire.

In the study, the team examined over 80,000 individuals. A series of online tests had been opened up to the general public just before the pandemic for the BBC2 Horizon’s Great British Intelligence test.

In early 2020 the study team extended the questionnaires to gather information on SARS-CoV-2 infection, the symptoms experienced, and the need for hospitalization.

Out of the 81,337 who provided complete data, 12,689 people suspected they had COVID-19.

The team found a link between deficits in overall cognitive performance and the severity of respiratory symptoms experienced.

The research also found that not all areas of thinking ability correlated in the same way with COVID-19 illness and that some abilities were spared, such as emotional discrimination and working memory.

In comparison, “executive” tasks that require skills in reasoning and problem solving seemed to show the greatest deficit.

The effects in those hospitalized with mechanical ventilation were similar to the average cognitive decline seen over a period of ten years of aging.

These findings add to an increasing body of research that is looking at different aspects of how COVID-19 might be impacting the brain and brain function.

This research is all converging to indicate that there are some important effects of COVID-19 on the brain that need further examination.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about ‘You’re not bulletproof’: 50-year-old COVID survivor urges caution, vaccination after nearly dying from virus and findings of long COVID symptoms in a third of people with COVID-19.

For more information about COVID and your health, please see recent studies about scientists find 160 new drugs that may fight against COVID-19 and results showing that cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce COVID-19 death in these people.

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