According to studies, memory loss and “brain fog” may be long-term negative effects of COVID-19. Mt. Sinai Health System specialists reviewed data from 740 participants, some of whom had infected the virus and others who had simply received the COVID-19 vaccination, in a study published last week in the journal JAMA Network Open. The patients, who had no prior history of dementia, were on average 49 years old and 63 percent of them were female. COVID-19 diagnosis took an average of nearly eight months, and the majority of patients studied were White. The researchers looked at patient data from April 2020 to May 2021 to see how common post-COVID-19 cognitive impairment is and how it relates to the severity of the condition.
Patients who were treated in outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, or inpatient hospitals provided their own demographic information. “Well-validated neuropsychological measures,” such as counting forward and backward, a language exam, and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, which gave the patients a series of words in different categories and measured how many they could recall, were used to assess cognitive performance. The researchers next used logistic regression to analyse the connection between cognitive impairment and COVID-19 care site, adjusted for race and ethnicity, smoking, BMI, comorbidities, and depression.
While it is well known that older adults and certain populations are more susceptible to cognitive impairment after critical illness, the researchers found that a significant proportion of the study’s relatively young cohort also had cognitive dysfunction several months after recovering from COVID-19. Further research is needed to discover risk factors, mechanisms driving cognitive impairment, and treatment alternatives, according to the researchers.