Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Coronavirus infection can have long-term consequences. According to one study, Covid-19 lung disease is said to have a drastic effect on brain function in the worst cases. However, there are significant doubts about causal relationships.
According to one study, Covid-19 may have a significant effect on brain function. The worst cases of infection may be related to mental deterioration equivalent to ten years of brain aging. A study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a physician at Imperial College London, found that coronavirus infection was associated with significant cognitive deficits for months in some severe cases.
“Our analysis is consistent with the view that Covid-19 has chronic cognitive implications,” the researchers wrote in a report on their results. “People who recovered, including those who had no symptoms, showed significant cognitive deficits.”
Cognitive tests measure how well the brain performs tasks – such as memorizing words or composing points on a puzzle. Such tests are often used to assess brain performance in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and can also help doctors assess temporary brain disorders.
The Hampshire team analyzed the results of 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. Hampshire results have yet to be verified by other experts.
However, scientists who were not directly involved in the study said the results should be viewed with some caution. “Participants’ cognitive function before Covid is unknown, and the results do not reflect long-term recovery, so the effects on how the brain works may be short-lived,” said Joanna Wardlau, a professor of neuroimaging at the University of Edinburgh.