In serious patients, there is a risk of 20-year aging –

from Christina Maroney

Six months after the injury, cognitive decline caused by a serious illness similar to the one he experienced in passing between the ages of 50 and 70 equals the loss of ten IQ points.

People who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 can lose up to 10 points in IQ In the six months following infection, this is an intellectual loss equal to the cognitive decline that occurs on average from 50 to 70 years. While it is currently unclear how persistent this cognitive impairment will be, given the large number of severely affected individuals worldwide, the overall impact could be enormous. This was revealed by a study conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College published In a magazine associated with The Lancet.

Damage to Long Covid

There is mounting evidence that Covid-19 can cause lasting cognitive and mental health problems, with recovering patients reporting various symptoms including fatigue, brain fogDifficulty remembering words, sleep disturbances, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder. Long Covid Affects up to 10% of those who are cured It causes symptoms such as Depression and anxiety disordersFor up to a year after the onset of infection Cardiovascular disease There is a suspicion that Covid may also affect Intestinal germs.

Cognitive tests

In this latest study, Cambridge researchers evaluated the results of several cognitive tests performed six months after injury Admitted 46 patients in intensive care for Covidand compared with the results of cognitive tests conducted on a control group of 66,000 individuals. Sixteen of these patients underwent controlled mechanical ventilation and all were hospitalized between March and July 2020 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

To conduct the tests, the Cognitron platform was used, which measures various aspects of mental faculties such as memory, attention and reasoning. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder were also assessed on specific scales. The data shown were compared with those of the control group.


In those who recovered from Covid, various cognitive defects appeared: from a reduced speed of information processing, to a reduced ability to understand language. Effects were strongest for those requiring mechanical ventilation. By comparing the patients to 66,008 individuals in the control group, the researchers estimate that the extent of the cognitive loss on average is similar to what lasted over twenty years, between ages 50 and 70, which equates to a loss of 10 intelligence. points. Previous studies have also shown that Covid affects the ability to use sugar as gasoline through neural areas that are neurotransmitters for attention, working memory, and problem solving.

Although it is now recognized that people who have recovered from severe COVID-19 disease can display a wide range of symptoms of poor mental health – depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, poor motivation, fatigue, low mood and disturbed sleep. The team found that acute disease severity is the best way to predict cognitive deficits and there is a strong relationship between disease severity and cognitive decline.

the reasons

Covid is likely to promote cognitive decline in various ways, for example by damaging the brain due to an increased immune response or because the infection causes micro-haemorrhages or microscopic ischemia in different nerve regions. It remains to be seen how long this damage will last and what the long-term resilience will be.

Impact on the brain

The long-term impact of Covid on the brain cannot be neglected: in England alone, 40,000 people have been hospitalized in intensive care due to Covid, meaning post-Covid cognitive deficits can affect a large number of people in the world, notes Adam outside Hampshire From Imperial College London, first author of the study. The research analyzed cases who had been hospitalized, but the team notes that even those who were not in such a serious condition that they would need to be hospitalized could experience mild signs of impaired cognitive abilities.

May 4, 2022 (change on May 4, 2022 | 15:03)

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