February 16, 2024

Study: Cognitive impairment prevalent in patients suffering from long COVID

Editor's Note

A study published by JAMA Network on February 14 reveals cognitive symptoms to be common among individuals suffering from post-COVID-19 condition, also known as long COVID. Conducted by Abhishek Jaywant, PhD, and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, the research focused on the prevalence of self-reported cognitive symptoms in individuals with long COVID compared to those who had recovered from an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection without developing the post-COVID-19 condition.

The study analyzed data from 14,767 participants who had confirmed COVID-19 infections and completed an internet survey at least 2 months post-infection. According to the findings:

  • Of the 1,683 participants reporting post-COVID-19 condition, 7%  experienced at least one cognitive symptom daily, compared to 27.1% of individuals without long COVID symptoms.
  • The presence of daily cognitive symptoms was mostly associated with at least moderate interference in daily functioning, decreased likelihood of full-time employment, and increased severity of depression symptoms.
  • Even after accounting for depressive symptoms in the analysis, cognitive symptoms were still strongly linked to moderate interference with everyday functioning and reduced odds of full-time employment.

"In light of their marked association with poorer functioning and quality of life, these symptoms represent important targets for assessment and identifying scalable interventions to remediate cognitive dysfunction in post-COVID-19 condition," said the authors in this February 16 article from Medical Xpress.

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