Beware Of Severe COVID, It May Lead To Early Dementia: New Study

OB Bureau

London: The COVID-19 situation seems to have stabilised in most countries. But no one should take the coronavirus infection lightly, considering its likely neurological implications, new studies in the UK warned.

Researchers from UK DRI Care Research and Technology Centre, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, and Cambridge University Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust studied a possible association between severe COVID-19 and persistent cognitive deficits.

Such patients reported symptoms like unexplained fatigue, mental health problems, ‘brain fog’, problems recalling words, sleep disturbances, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) many weeks and even months after recovering from COVID-19.

Those hospitalized with severe COVID in the age group of 50 to 70 were found to have lost 10 IQ points. And there was no immediate reversal or release from these symptoms for such patients as the effects are detectable more than six months after the illness.

Also Read: Long COVID Can Affect Sex Life; Here’s How

The 46 individuals chosen as part of the case studies were admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital between March 10 and July 31, 2020.

They were put through detailed computerised cognitive assessment and assessed on scales measuring levels of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) under supervised conditions.

In another finding along similar lines, long COVID patients were found to be at of developing dementia and dying earlier than they would have if they had not contracted COVID-19.

Incidental findings from a large citizen-science project — Great British Intelligence Test – and funded by Department of Health and Social Care in England, showed that even mild cases of COVID-19 can lead to persistent cognitive symptoms.

Also Read: Long COVID Shows More Than 200 Symptoms; Here Are Details

The study said cognitive decline, post COVID recovery, could be the fallout of inflammatory (immune) response that the body launches in early stages of infection which may quickly spirals out of control in the form of a cytokine storm.

“Other factors, such as hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood), may also have a role. It was also unclear whether the pervasive problems with psychological health reported after COVID were part of the same problem as the objective cognitive deficits, or represented a different phenomenon,” reported.

OB Bureau

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