Brain fog and COVID-19. New evidences.
Young adults performed worse on memory and attention tests several months after an acute case of mild COVID-19, according to a small study that may support the "brain fog" reported by many.
Most cognitive abilities tested -- including working memory, executive function, and planning -- were normal, but COVID-19 patients displayed significantly worse episodic memory for up to 6 months after infection and a greater decline in vigilance on a sustained task for up to 9 months than uninfected people.
These deficits in memory and concentration were not significantly different from normal after 6 or 9 months, suggesting people recover over time.
These findings highlight that cognitive reductions are not limited to patients who had prolonged neurological manifestations after recovery, but might exist more widely in a subclinical form among COVID-19 survivors who would not consider themselves as requiring any post-COVID treatment.
The study evaluated adults with a mean age of 29, comparing 53 participants with previous self-reported mild COVID-19 (usually confirmed by PCR test) and 83 participants who reported not having COVID-19. People who were hospitalized with COVID-19 or had symptoms that affected their daily life were excluded from the analyses, as were people with severe long COVID symptoms.