Severe Covid infection may affect thinking similar to 20 years of ageing: Study

Edited By: Manas Joshi
Cambridge Updated: May 04, 2022, 08:32 PM(IST)

(Representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

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In other words, severe Covid infections may result in loss of cognitive abilities which happens between 50 and 70 years of age. The study has been carried out by team of scientists from University of Cambridge and Imperial College London

It is already known that Covid infection affects physical as well as mental health. But a new study suggests that cognitive impairment caused due to severe Covid infection may be equal to drop of 10 IQ points.

In other words, severe Covid infections may result in loss of cognitive abilities which happens between 50 and 70 years of age. The study has been carried out by a team of scientists from University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

The study points at the possibility that effects of Covid may be detectable in a person even more than six months after the infection. The cognitive recovery may at best be gradual.

For this study, the researchers sifted through data of 46 patients who were admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for treatment of Covid.

Six months after their acute illness, the patients were asked to take detailed cognitive tests that checked their memory, attention and reasoning. Results obtained from the group of patients were compared to those obtained from a control group.

It was found that Covid survivors had slower response time and were less accurate in their answers in the cognitive tests. Such results were detected six months after the infection.

It was found during the study that cognitive impairment was strongest among patients who needed mechanical ventilation during their illness. In other words, they were severely infected by Covid.

The researchers compared the results with larger dataset obtained from 66,008 members of the public and inferred that the cognitive impairment due to severe infection of Covid was equivalent to 10 IQ points.

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