By Fergal MacErlean • 09 May 2022 • 13:22
Image: Long Covid can severely impair brain functions.
Long Covid researchers from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London examined 46 patients admitted to a UK hospital from March to July 2020, CTV News reported on Sunday, May 8.
The study, published last week in the journal eClinicalMedicine, part of The Lancet, discovered severe illness creates Covid brain fog, even six months after infection.
Of the 46 patients, 16 were placed on mechanical ventilation during their time in hospital. The patients were compared to a control group.
Six months after their stay in hospital, the researchers asked the patients and the control group to undergo a computerised test to measure their memory, attention and reasoning.
The researchers found that compared to the control group, those who had been hospitalised were less accurate and displayed slower response times in the test.
Professor David Menon from the Division of Anaesthesia at the University of Cambridge, the study’s senior author, said: “Cognitive impairment is common to a wide range of neurological disorders, including dementia, and even routine ageing, but the patterns we saw – the cognitive ‘fingerprint’ of COVID-19 – was distinct from all of these.”
The scientists said this cognitive impact was equivalent to 20 years of ageing.
Professor Adam Hampshire from the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, the study’s first author, said: “There is a large number of people out there still experiencing problems with cognition many months later. We urgently need to look at what can be done to help these people.”
The data suggests a “combination of factors” can leads to neurological changes, including inadequate oxygen or blood supply to the brain.
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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