Memory and focus problems after COVID-19 | MÉLÒDÝ JACÒB

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Friday, March 18, 2022

Memory and focus problems after COVID-19

Those who visit our cognitive clinic are among the 22 per cent to 32 per cent of COVID-19 survivors who still have brain fog as a result of their long COVID, or post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), as experts refer to it.

What exactly is the meaning of brain fog?

Brain fog is a phrase for slow or sluggish thinking that can occur in a variety of situations, such as when a person is sleep-deprived or sick, or as a side effect of drowsy medicines. Following chemotherapy or a concussion, you may experience brain fog.

Brain fog is frequently transitory and resolves on its own. However, we don't exactly know why brain fog occurs after COVID-19 or how long these symptoms will continue. However, we do know that this type of brain fog can have an impact on other facets of cognition.


What is cognition?

The mechanisms in the brain that allow us to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention are referred to as cognition. A loss in your capacity to perform one or more thinking processes is referred to as cognitive impairment.

A wide spectrum of cognitive issues has been recorded among persons who have been hospitalized for COVID. Among them are issues with

Our brains may actively digest information that is happening around us while ignoring other aspects if we pay attention. Attention functions similarly to a spotlight on a stage during a performance, allowing performers to stand out from the crowd.

The ability to learn, store, retain, and recall knowledge is known as memory.

More complicated skills like planning, directing attention, remembering instructions, and juggling many tasks are part of executive function.

Long-term COVID sufferers may experience noticeable difficulties with attention, memory, and executive function. These difficulties have been reported in studies of patients who were not hospitalized with COVID and those who were, as well as those who had severe cases. These findings raise crucial questions concerning the impact of COVID-19 infection on cognition.

Even with mild COVID, less visible lapses in memory and attention may occur.


After recovering from a mild incidence of COVID-19, according to a recent study conducted by a group of German researchers, even persons who don't show evidence of cognitive impairment can have memory and attention problems.

A total of 136 people were recruited for the study through a website that advertised it as a brain game to evaluate how well people could perform. The average age of the participants was roughly 30 years old. Nearly 40% of the participants had recovered from COVID without needing to be admitted to the hospital, while the rest had never had COVID. All of the subjects said they had no memory or cognitive issues.

However, when compared to those who did not have COVID, performance on an attention task was not as good in the COVID group. Similarly, those with COVID performed significantly worse on a memory task. Both of these impacts appear to improve with time, with the memory problem improving by six months and the attention problem disappearing by nine months.

This study demonstrates that memory and attention issues may occur not only in those who are unwell enough with COVID to be hospitalized and in those who develop protracted COVID, but also in most people who have COVID to some degree. However, these data should be viewed with caution. The participants were largely young patients who were recruited through a website; none of them had long COVID, and their cognitive capacities prior to COVID were unknown.


What does this research say about COVID and cognition?

More research is needed to clarify whether COVID-19 infections cause attention and memory problems in people of all ages, regardless of how mild or severe the sickness is, and to explore other factors that may affect cognition. A better understanding of why some people experience apparent issues with attention and memory after receiving COVID while others do not may help guide care in the future.

This study found that memory recovery took six months and attention improvement took nine months after COVID infection, implying that some COVD-related cognitive deficits, even if widespread, may be recoverable.


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