How “brain fog” from Long COVID can be akin to ageing 10 years. A King’s College London study reveals cognitive impairments that can last up to 2 years post-infection.
T he lingering effects of COVID-19 have continued to puzzle scientists, leading them to explore the phenomenon known as “brain fog.” This condition, affecting some individuals long after their initial infection, has been compared to ageing 10 years.
A groundbreaking study by King’s College London sheds light on the impact of COVID-19 on memory, revealing cognitive impairments in those with persistent symptoms.
Understanding Long COVID and Brain Fog
Long COVID is a term used to describe persistent symptoms experienced by individuals for more than four weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms often include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. Among the various symptoms, “brain fog” stands out as a concerning aspect.
The study conducted by King’s College London involved over 5,100 participants from the COVID Symptom Study Biobank. Researchers use 12 cognitive tests to assess working memory, attention, reasoning, and motor controls. The first cohort, examined in July and August 2021, displayed lower cognitive scores in those with positive COVID-19 infections, particularly in individuals experiencing symptoms for more than 12 weeks.
Remarkably, these deficits were comparable to ageing around 10 years or displaying mild psychological distress.