Covid and Cognition -update

This updates my two posts on "Covid and Cognition".

Recently Adam Hampshire the clinical neuroscientist at Imperial College London who wrote the Lancet paper “Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to controls: An N=84,285 online study” did a YouTube interview for Amanpour and Company - "Alarming Study Finds Cognitive Deficits in Those Who Had Even Mild COVID cases".

You can watch the interview here:

Quick summary:

  • They found the virus affects Executive Planning Functions (see my previous post from December 2020). This involves underperforming in planning, reasoning, spatial planning, focus and attention on tasks, working memory and language and analogical reasoning.

  • Found that even "mild" cases could have cognitive deficits.

  • Studies in the UK are now looking at tracking cognitive symptoms in people who have had Covid-19.

  • Concentration difficulties, brain fog, word finding have also been noted by Long Haulers and this has been confirmed by cognitive testing.

  • Talked about possible mechanisms - direct viral effect on the brain, lack of oxygen leading to death of neurons, persistent brain inflammation, infiltration through the olfactory system. Interestingly cognitive systems are very close to the olfactory system.

  • Possible evidence that people that had mild symptoms are slowly recovering but it all relates to severity of illness, their state before their illness and their age.

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