Severe COVID-19 May Cause Cognitive Deficits Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging

  • As per a recent study conducted, severe Covid-19 prone to cause deficits in cognitive function along with hospitalization persisting 6-10 months
  • The study found cognitive deficits in severe COVID-19 survivors which was quite similar to the decline in cognitive function that generally happens in people of 50-70 years of age
  • The overall and gradual recovery underlines the mechanism and developing some specific treatment strategies in cases of severe Covid-19
  • Mild Covid-19 cases mainly report lingering cognitive symptoms. But the incidences are found t be higher in severe Covid-19 cases




According to the recent study conducted by scientists in journaleClinical Medicine, it suggests that cases of severe COVID-19 might be associated with cognitive deficits. This is related to the equivalent to a decline of 10 IQ points.

The above study was based on patients with severe Covid-19 which was defined as COVID-19 requiring critical care and hospitalization.

It was later found that these cognitive deficits continued to persist for 6 months with a signal of contacting the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The above results mainly suggest the importance and need for a support of longer duration in patients who have recovered from severe Covid-19.

The official data of 2020 states that adults who are at the age of 18 years or above, they are at the risk of developing severe COVID-19 in the United States.



Persistent Cognitive Symptoms

Some individuals having the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection may associate persistent cognitive symptomsTrusted. And this may follow the initial 4 weeks after having symptoms of COVID-19. There are a few cognitive symptoms found in such individuals like executive function, memory and “brain fog,”.

The same type of persistent cognitive symptoms have also been found in mild Covid-19 patients. According to the previous studies conducted in this regard, it was found that over 75% individuals with severe acute COVID-19 tend to show cognitive deficits 6 months after the onset of thir illness.

But the above tests don’t have the sensitivity to predict even smaller changes in the cognitive function that are impacted by an infection due to a SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In addition to the above, those with COVID-19 also found to show persistent mental health symptoms like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fatigue, depression and anxiety.



Magnitude of Cognitive Deficits

The recent study is known to have involved as many as 46 patients who had to be hospitalized due to severe Covid-19 condition and were given critical care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England.

During the study, they completed some cognitive tests after they visited the hospital again for a check-up. It was an average of 6 months after the onset of their illness.

Later the performance of all those 46 patients were compared to those with another 460 individuals of control group. Although, the later were not hospitalized for COVID-19. And so, they were matched with their sex, age and education.

In the end, researchers found that patients with COVID-19 patients had lower score and slower time in response to cognitive tests as compared to the matched controls.


Underlying Mechanisms

The study conducted on patients with severe Covid-19 had cognitive deficits persisted until 6-10 months after they were actually found to have some gradual improvements in them.

In order to settle this down, scientists proposed a series of mechanisms including disruption of blood supply to the brain, direct infection of the brain by SARS-CoV-2. This was to better elaborate all the new and developing persistent cognitive symptoms in COVID-19 patients.

In the presence of all the above mechanisms, whole-body inflammationTrusted tend to emerge as the leading or main factor responsible for persistent cognitive symptoms.



Also Read: What Are the Causes & Treatment of Puffy Nipples In Men?


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