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The cognitive cost of COVID?Some patients’ brains may age 10 years



LONDON (Reuters)-Researchers warned on Tuesday that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may suffer severe brain effects. The most severe cases of infection are related to mental weakness, equivalent to 10 years of brain aging.

A patient with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) who was treated at the CHU de Liege Hospital in Liege, Belgium on October 27, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people led by Adam Hampshire, a physician at Imperial College London, found that, in some severe cases, coronavirus infections are linked to severe cognitive deficits over the past few months .

The researchers wrote in a report on their findings: “Our analysis… is in line with the view that COVID-1

9 will bring chronic cognitive consequences.” “People who have recovered, including those who no longer report symptoms. , Showing obvious cognitive deficits.”

Cognitive tests measure the brain’s ability to perform tasks, such as remembering words or connecting points on puzzles. This test is widely used to assess brain function in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and can also help doctors evaluate temporary brain damage.

The Hampshire team analyzed the results of 84,285 people who completed a study called the “British Intelligence Test”. These findings have not been reviewed by other experts and have been published online on the MedRxiv website.

Researchers say that cognitive deficits “have a huge impact”, especially among those hospitalized with COVID-19, and the worst-case scenario shows that its impact is “equivalent to an average decline in global performance between the ages of 20 and 20. Year” to 70 inches.

However, scientists who were not directly involved in the study said that the results should be studied carefully.

Joanna Wardlaw, a professor of applied neuroimaging at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Before COVID, the cognitive function of participants was not clear, and the results did not reflect long-term recovery. The impact may be short-term.”

Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging at University College London, also pointed out that the results of this study may not be completely reliable because they were not compared before and after the scores and involved a large number of people who self-reported with COVID -19 years old, without any positive tests.

Hill said: “Overall, this is an interesting but uncertain study on the impact of COVID on the brain.”

“As researchers hope to better understand the long-term effects of COVID, it is important to further study the impact on cognition in the weeks and months after infection, and whether certain people will permanently damage brain function.”

Reporting by Kate Kelander, editing by Alison Williams


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