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Lung Covid, post-infection related cognitive deficits

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When the pandemic is officially over (the World Health Organization declared it just over a month ago), the same cannot be said for Long Covid, the effects of which are still visible in many cured people. More than one in three people say they have observed cognitive deficits 30 days after infection and some of these patients have experienced symptoms of Long Covid, ie conditions lasting more than four months. The correlation is significant, according to a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, published in Jama network opened

Strong association

One of the symptoms of Long Covid is cognitive impairment, the so-called “brain fog”, which can be associated with memory problems, concentration problems and stress disorder. Anxiety and depression are also common. US researchers analyzed data from a survey on cognitive impairment related to Covid, evaluating its association with the development of Long Covid, of 766 patients hospitalized or treated at home for a Sars-CoV between April 2020 and February 2021 -2 infection. Participants answered a questionnaire about cognitive problems and symptoms of Long Covid 30, 60 and 90 days after hospital discharge or confirmation of positivity. It appeared to be so there is a strong association between observed deficiencies within the first four weeks of infection and Lung Covid symptoms. One month after infection or hospitalization, 42.8% of patients with cognitive impairment reported symptoms of Long Covid compared to 21.4% of patients without impairment. The researchers also saw a link between the perceived impairment and previous intellectual problems, diagnoses of major depressive disorders and anxiety.

Risks for unvaccinated people

Long Covid is also the subject of another study published in the British medical journal
according to which one in six people who are not vaccinated against Covid complain of health effects for up to two years after infection. “Most people infected with Sars-CoV-2 recover quickly after the onset of the disease, others have persistent health problems called ‘Long Covid’ that can affect quality of life and ability to work,” says Tala Ballouz of the University of Zurich, lead author of the paper. The researchers examined the persistence of symptoms over two years in 1,106 unvaccinated adults (mean age 50) infected with Sars-CoV-2 confirmed between August 2020 and January 2021 and used as a control group 628 adults (mean age 65 years) randomly selected from the population that had not had the virus. The researchers obtained information on about twenty Lung Covid symptoms at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after infection. Other potentially influential factors were considered, including age, gender, education, occupation, and pre-existing health conditions.

Persistent disturbances

Overall, 55% of participants reported being completely cured less than a month after infection and 18% reported recovering within 1-3 months. 23% of participants said they had still not recovered after six months, after 12 months that had fallen to 19% and after 24 months to 17%. Compared to people who had not had the infection, those who had recovered from Sars-CoV-2 showed a change in taste or smell (9.8%), malaise after exercise (9.4%), shortness of breath (7.8% ) and psychological problems, such as reduced concentration (8.3%) and anxiety (4%), six months after illness. People who reported symptoms or more severe complaints at all follow-ups were older on average and had pre-existing health problems. “More clinical trials will be needed to establish effective interventions to reduce the post-Covid burden,” the authors conclude. In a related editorial to the study, Qiao Wu of the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) says understanding symptom trends and recovery from Long Covid is critical to policy making, treatment decisions and care coordination.

Source: Corriere

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