Recent studies show that even months after overcoming COVID-19, many patients still have memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms of “brain fog.
” Seven months after a COVID diagnosis, the symptoms remained common, according to the study’s findings, in both severely ill patients who were hospitalized and in healthy people who had treated a small illness at home.
Patients Who Have Recovered From Covid Are Often Left With Persistent
According to Jacqueline Becker, a neuropsychologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, another interesting component of the study is that many of the patients were young and healthy despite the brain fog.
Most of them were free of chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, with an average age of 49.
For the last several years, scientists have been working to figure out what causes “long COVID,” a smorgasbord of persistent symptoms that plagues patients even after the virus has been treated.
The most puzzling element of this is that protracted COVID is evident in those who had just been somewhat ill. Using data from the Mount Sinai registry, Becker and her colleagues looked at 740 people with a history of COVID-19. They’d been out of the country, on average, for almost seven months after becoming infected with COVID.
Even when the condition improved, many patients continued to have cognitive symptoms such as difficulties paying attention or remembering things. Admitted hospital patients had worse consequences: For example, on various memory tests, over a third of individuals showed memory impairment, and over a quarter showed difficulty with executive functioning mental skills such as planning and organization, which people often use in their daily lives.
Researchers found that between 12 and 16 percent of those who had kept their COVID infection under control at home also exhibited memory or executive functioning difficulties. According to Becker, for example, issues concentrating or mistakes made at work might be signs of these impairments.
He explained that long-term consequences from COVID are to be anticipated in specific individuals. Doctors are aware that severely ill hospital patients may develop “post-ICU syndrome,” a collection of symptoms ranging from physical weakness and exhaustion to cognitive issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, since SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus, long-term respiratory problems should be expected.
According to Purpura, one of the most surprising discoveries is the prevalence of prolonged COVID among those who had just been somewhat sick with the condition. Individuals with mild to moderate cases of COVID are almost as likely as those with severe cases to report at least one neurological long-term COVID symptom, according to the findings of his and his colleagues’ research. Long-term COVID may induce a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, joint soreness, palpitations, and gastrointestinal issues, in addition to the cognitive fog mentioned above.
How long does it take to recover from a case of brain fog? Becker said it would take time for experts to figure out how frequently people recover on their own or how to deal with the “new normal” that has emerged. According to her, additional studies will provide more specific strategies for aiding inpatient recovery. As Becker recognized, it’s possible that the immune system is overreacting, leading to widespread inflammation throughout the body.