Effect of COVID-19 on the Brain

The Lingering Impact of COVID-19 on the Brain

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According to research carried out at Oxford Brookes University, there is a large number of COVID-19 survivors that will be affected by neuropsychiatric and cognitive complications. Researchers investigated the short and long-term cognitive impact of SARS-COV-2 infection on the brain. The study demonstrated that in the short term, a wide range of neuropsychiatric problems were reported. In one examined study, 95% of clinically stable COVID-19 patients had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other studies found between 17-42% of patients experienced affective disorders, such as depression.

The primary short-term cognitive problems were found to be impaired attention (reported by 45% of patients) and impaired memory (between 13-28% of patients). In the long term, neuropsychiatric problems were mostly affective disorders and fatigue, as well as impaired attention (reported by 44% of patients) and memory (reported between 28-50% of patients).

Dr. Sanjay Kumar, the Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, commented, “Understanding the neuropsychiatric and cognitive consequences of COVID-19 is important as millions of people have been affected by the virus, and many cases go undetected. These conditions affect people's capacity to work effectively, drive, manage finances, make informed decisions and participate in daily family activities. If even a fraction of patients experience neuropsychiatric complications, the impact on public health services could be significant."

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