SubscribeAndrei DergalinAll materialsWrite to the authorThe researchers also noted that the recovery in cognitive faculties displayed by COVID-19 survivors was gradual at best.A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London has managed to gauge the damage that severe COVID-19 may inflict upon one’s cognitive functions.During the course of their study, the results of which were published in the journal eClinicalMedicine, the researchers used data from 46 people who received in-hospital care for COVID-19 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and who were recruited to the NIHR COVID-19 BioResource.These individuals underwent “detailed computerised cognitive tests” measuring various aspects of their mental faculties, about six months after their acute illness, according to a media release posted on the University of Cambridge’s website.Bill Gates Warns World Has ‘Not Seen Worst’ of COVID-19 as ‘Even More Fatal’ Variant PossibleThe team estimates that the magnitude of cognitive loss sustained by the patients is “similar on average to that sustained with 20 years ageing, between 50 and 70 years of age, and that this is equivalent to losing 10 IQ points.”
"Cognitive impairment is common to a wide range of neurological disorders, including dementia, and even routine ageing, but the patterns we saw – the cognitive 'fingerprint' of COVID-19 – was distinct from all of these," said Professor David Menon from the Division of Anaesthesia at the University of Cambridge, senior author of the study.
While the scores displayed by the patients did begin to improve over time, the researchers warn that this recovery in cognitive faculties was gradual at best.
"We followed some patients up as late as ten months after their acute infection, so we're able to see a very slow improvement," Menon remarked. "While this was not statistically significant, it is at least heading in the right direction, but it is very possible that some of these individuals will never fully recover."