Researchers from the University of Cambridge in England suggest that a severe case of COVID can result in a person losing up to 10 IQ points. In fact, eIn recovered patients, there is evidence that the disease can lead to cognitive and mental health problems including brain fog, problems remembering words, insomnia, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Cognitive impairment is common for a wide range of neurological disorders, including dementia, and even routine aging, but the patterns we saw — the COVID-19 cognitive ‘fingerprint’ — were different from all of those,” David Menon, lead author on the study, said. Published in the magazine electronic medicineAnd said in statment.
1 in 7 people with COVID reported cognitive problems after 12 weeks
A separate study cited in the statement reports that one in seven people who contracted COVID in the UK were reporting cognitive difficulties for up to 12 weeks after their initial positive test.
Although mild cases can trigger these symptoms, between 66 and 75 percent of people who are hospitalized with COVID report cognitive symptoms after three to six months, which is another matter. study From Cambridge says.
To study why COVID causes a sudden decline in cognitive function, researchers studied 46 people who were hospitalized, either in a ward or intensive care unit, for infection treatment. Of those 46, 16 required a ventilator during their hospital stay. They were all accepted between March and July 2020.
Each patient subsequently underwent computerized cognitive tests about six months after becoming ill, using the Cognitron platform – an online tool that measures aspects of mental acuity including memory, attention and thinking, as well as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
This was the first time this level of evaluation had been performed on COVID-19 patients. The results showed that tStudy subjects were slower and less test accurate than the control group, and the same type of effect was seen in a six-month follow-up test. Although the researchers note that some improvement has been seen over time.
“We’ve followed up on some patients as late as ten months after their acute injury, so we’ve been able to see very slow improvement,” Menon said. “While this was not statistically significant, at least it goes in the right direction, but it is very likely that some of these individuals will not fully recover.”
When compared to 66,008 individuals in the general population, scientists estimated that COVID patients experience cognitive loss similar to 20 years of aging between the ages of 50 and 70.
Patients were particularly poor at verbal analogue reasoning, supporting the idea that COVID has an effect on people’s word retention.
Previous studies have shown that there is a potential for low levels of glucose in the brain, which is an essential fuel for the brain. Because patients showed slower processing speeds, the researchers believe this was observed in their study as well.
While the research team focused primarily on people who were hospitalized for the study, they suggest that there are people who have never been in hospital and could still have similar disabilities.
“About 40,000 people have been in intensive care with COVID-19 in England alone, and many of them will be very ill, but have not been admitted to hospital,” said Adam Hampshire, the study’s author. “This means that a significant number of people are still having cognitive problems after several months. We urgently need to look at what can be done to help these people.”
In Canada, 3.7 million people have contracted COVID-19, and 39,000 people have died, according to Federal government.
Chris Arnold is a writer based in Toronto.
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