A study found that even though mild COVID-19 was completely reversed, people still experienced memory and concentration impairment for as long as nine months.
Oxford University scientists found that people with mild illnesses and no ongoing COVID-19 symptoms did worse on a nine-minute attention task.
According to researchers, this is the first study of its kind to identify deficits in sustained attention, memory, and everyday events in people who have had mild illnesses but otherwise appear to be fully recovered.
According to the study authors, most cognitive tests including planning and working memory were not affected. This means that cognitive impairments caused by COVID-19 may be broad-ranging, just like COVID-19 manifests as a spectrum illness with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
According to the study authors, there is an urgent need to measure cognitive performance and understand how COVID-19 affects the brain.
Professor Masud Husein of cognitive neurology at Oxford, and the study author, stated that the cause was not clear. He said that it was encouraging to see attention and memory deficits return to normal in most people six to nine months after the infection.
Researchers ran a series tests that were advertised as brain games to get the results. The group included 53 participants who reported a mild COVID-19 infection. However, the majority of the participants in the study said that they had never been infected. According to the study authors, none of the participants had ever been admitted for treatment or suffered from COVID-19 symptoms like fatigue and brain fog. They estimated that the average age of participants was 28.
Brain Communications, an open-access journal, published the study. Other experts have not been able to review the methods or findings of this study.
Researchers cautioned that results may not be applicable to everyone due to the small sample size and the low number of participants over 70.