Long COVID Patient Develops Face Blindness

Long COVID Patient Develops Face Blindness

According to a recent peer-reviewed Dartmouth College research published in the medical journal Cortex, Annie, 28, is the first and only individual known to suffer facial blindness, also known as prosopagnosia, as a result of a COVID-19 infection.

Despite being a part-time portrait artist, Annie, who was only named by her first name in the study because of privacy concerns, was unable to identify her father’s face following a COVID diagnosis.

“My dad’s voice came out of a stranger’s face,” she told researchers.

It is believed that Annie’s face blindness is a result of long COVID, which has been connected to numerous neurological symptoms like loss of taste and smell, brain fog and memory issues.

The artist told doctors that now, “Faces are like water in [her] head.”

According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, face blindness is typically caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injuries or some neurological illnesses.

In certain circumstances, it can happen at birth and can be genetic.

When Annie saw her family at a restaurant two months after recuperating from COVID-19, the issue initially became clear when she went past them, not once but twice, failing to recognize any of them.

To identify the friends and relatives who are standing directly in front of her, she must now rely solely on sound.

And that is not even the extent of her struggles now.

The patient also experiences navigational issues, such as difficulty navigating her favorite grocery shop, difficulty locating her car in a parking lot, and occasionally realizing that she is traveling in the other direction on once-familiar roads.

Brad Duchaine, from the Social Perception Lab at Dartmouth College stated that “The mix of prosopagnosia and navigational deficits Annie had is something that grabbed our attention because the deficits often go hand in hand after someone either has had brain damage or developmental deficits.”

The team’s study on Annie was published in the journal Cortex not too long ago, saying that “Our study highlights the kind of perceptual issues with face recognition and navigation which can be caused by COVID-19. It is something people should be aware of, especially doctors and other health care professionals.”

In light of projections that it may be harming as many as one in three individuals who have had coronavirus, President Joe Biden’s administration announced a lengthy COVID-19 research effort last year.

A statement released at the time by the White House stated that “The administration recognizes that the pandemic has resulted in some new members of the disability community and it has had a tremendous impact on people with disabilities.”

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, the program is focused on expanding education and outreach, strengthening treatment and support, and promoting research.

Becerra went on to add that “Long COVID is real and there’s still so much we do not know about it. Millions of Americans might be struggling with lingering health issues ranging from things that are easier to notice such as trouble breathing or irregular heartbeats to less apparent but possibly serious conditions related to the brain or to mental health.”


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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