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by Steven Kaszab, Bradford, Ontario
Severe COVID-19 cases may cause cognitive impairment equivalent to ageing. Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London conducted studies of clients suffering from long COVID-19.
Their research found a growing body of evidence that coronavirus can lead to long-term cognitive and mental health issues.
The study published in the Journal eClinical Medicine found survivors of severe COVID-19 had cognitive impairments similar to ageing that happens between the ages of 50 and 70.
It gets even worse for those who had been put on ventilators while infected.
The study compared 46 patients between the ages of 28 and 83 who were hospitalised between March 10 and July 31, 2021, to more than 66, 000 members of the general public.
It found that cognitive impairments for those with severe COVID persisted six months longer than the norm, with patients improving very slowly, if at all.
Those recovering from severe COVID infections needed longer-term care for cognitive deficits.
The research continues trying to pinpoint what causes long-term COVID cognitive effects. The body’s inflammatory response and immune system are potential pathways, but researchers need to map these cognitive deficits throughout the body with inflammatory biomarkers.
It has been shown that severe COVID can impair a 20-year-old, seemingly causing ageing within their mental capabilities, ultimately losing 10 to 15 IQ points.
The IQ loss is much higher in aged patients.
A study of 740 people with no history of memory problems conducted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai last October 2021 found that many patients treated for severe COVID had high levels of brain fog lasting well over several months after diagnosis.
Furthermore, studies have shown that those individuals that were not vaccinated were more likely by 61 per cent to develop long-term COVID symptoms than those vaccinated.
Society has been challenged by a pathogen not willing to leave us in peace. Even if COVID-19 were to disappear from our planet, millions of our neighbours will be suffering from evolving mental health challenges, and long-term symptoms that could be with patients and the societies that are assisting them for many years to come.