Patients who contracted COVID-19, could suffer from brain fog - cognitive impairment - for months after recovery. According to a new study, this situation could persist even among patients who were not hospitalized.
Issues with Memory Loss
The research, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that nearly a quarter of Covid-19 patients in a Mount Sinai Health System registry experienced some issues with their memory.
According to the researchers, although hospitalized patients were more likely to experience brain fog after a Covid infection, some who were not on hospital admission, had cognitive impairment too.
One of the researchers, Jacqueline Becker, said:
In this study, we found a relatively high frequency of cognitive impairment several months after patients contracted COVID-19. Impairments in executive functioning, processing speed, category fluency, memory encoding, and recall were predominant among hospitalized patients.
In a separate research, published in April, it was found that as many as one in three people with Covid-19 had longer term mental health or neurological symptoms.
What is Brain Fog?
The USA’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention include on its list of post-Covid conditions, difficulty thinking or concentrating. This is sometimes referred to as ‘brain fog’.
On its website, the CDC said:
Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Authors of this new research noted the possibility for bias in the sample because patients came to Mount Sinai Health System because they were experiencing symptoms. However, they believe more research is needed on this condition. They wrote:
The association of COVID-19 with executive functioning raises key questions regarding patients' long-term treatment. Future studies are needed to identify the risk factors and mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction, as well as options for rehabilitation.