Severe COVID Illness Could Impact Cognitive Functions in a Way That’s Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging, New Study Says

Severe COVID Illness Could Impact Cognitive Functions in a Way That’s Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging, New Study Says
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Let’s admit it: many of us have at least a friend who doesn’t take COVID seriously. It’s that kind of person who says that he’s young and healthy; therefore, there’s no need for him to worry about the coronavirus.

But a new study brings another terrifying outcome. We know already that severe COVID can lead to terrible situations, including hospitalization and even death. But have you ever taken into account the possibility that it could even make a person seem like it has aged 20 years more?

Severe COVID could lead to serious cognitive issues

ScienceAlert.com brings the news about the new study in question, and it claims that the mental impacts of severe COVID illness can be the same as aging two decades. As you probably already guessed, this also implies a decrease in intelligence. The conclusion comes after the situation of 46 COVID patients who were suffering from severe forms of the disease was compared to 460 matched controls.

David Menon from the University of Cambridge and also the senior author of the new study explained:

Cognitive impairment is common to a wide range of neurological disorders, including dementia, and even routine aging, but the patterns we saw – the cognitive ‘fingerprint’ of COVID-19 – was distinct from all of these.

The researchers also brought the following important statement:

These results indicate that although both fatigue and mental health are prominent chronic [consequences] of COVID-19, their severity is likely to be somewhat independent from the observed cognitive deficits.

If we take a look at worldometers.info, we realize that the World Health Organization (WHO) was right when it stated that it’s too early to declare victory over the COVID pandemic yet. Yesterday, for instance, over 500,000 infections and 2,400 deaths caused by the coronavirus were reported across the world.

The new findings were published in eClinicalMedicine.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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