Long Covid could age you by 20 years, claims UK universities study

Image: Long Covid can severely impair brain functions. Credit: Tranmautritam.

A new study says that cognitive impairment due to long Covid is equivalent to aging by 20 years or losing 10 IQ points.

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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Written by

Fergal MacErlean

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. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • Jessica

      09 May 2022 • 15:41

      Most of the people that I know who have caught covid were vaccinated. the vaccine can cause blood clots and heart problems plus a whole range of other side effetcs. “Long covid” is another fairytale -previously people who caught the flu occasionally had the same thing happen. This is nothing new and any doctor who still has a conscience and some experience of practising medicine will tell you so. It´s just another manipulative story to make people fearful and make sure that they do as they are told and get the boosters to keep big pharma in big profits

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