Study Finds Cognitive Impairment Can Persist for Months in Coronavirus Patients, Even for Those Who Were Not Hospitalized

Cognitive impairment — described as brain fog — can persist for months in Covid-19 patients, even for some who were not hospitalized, according to a new study.

The research,¬†published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that nearly a quarter of Covid-19 patients in a Mount Sinai Health System registry experienced some issues with their memory — and although hospitalized patients were more likely to have such brain fog after a coronavirus infection, some outpatients had cognitive impairment too.

“In this study, we found a relatively high frequency of cognitive impairment several months after patients contracted COVID-19. Impairments in executive functioning, processing speed, category fluency, memory encoding, and recall were predominant among hospitalized patients,” Jacqueline Becker and her colleagues at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, wrote in the study.

“This pattern is consistent with early reports describing a dysexecutive syndrome after COVID-19 and has considerable implications for occupational, psychological, and functional outcomes,” the researchers wrote. Separate research, published in April in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, found that as many as 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 had longer term mental health or neurological symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes difficulty thinking or concentrating — sometimes referred to as “brain fog” — on its list of post-Covid conditions.

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SOURCE: CNN, Jacqueline Howard