explained lead researcher Adam Hampshire about the nature of evaluations used in the study.
Self-reported psychological symptoms, including low energy, problems concentrating, disorientation,
, and difficulty finding the right words are on the rise. Parallelly,
Hence, the research team led by Dr.Adam Hampshire from the Imperial College London sought to confirm whether there was an association between the cognitive performance of 81,337 participants who undertook a clinically validated web-optimized assessment and questionnaire items that captured self-reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection between January and December 2020.
Key Findings of the Study
Of the total participants, only 12,689 individuals reported that they had COVID-19, with varying degrees of respiratory severity.
People who had contracted COVID-19 underperformed on the intelligence test compared to those who had not contracted the virus. This held true even after controlling for factors such as age, sex, handedness, first language, and education level.
COVID-survivors found it difficult to perform tasks that required reasoning, planning, and problem-solving. The level of underperformance was also associated with the severity of COVID-19, as those who were hospitalized showed the greatest deficits.
What do these Findings Imply?
The study reports for the first time that individuals who recovered from COVID-19 at home and did not receive medical support perform worse on a range of cognitive tests than those who did not contract COVID-19. The findings also emphasize that people who had COVID-19 are at risk of developing cognitive deficits.
“We need to be careful as it looks like the virus could be affecting our cognition. We do not fully understand how, why, or for how long, but we urgently need to find out. In the meantime, don’t take unnecessary risks and do get vaccinated,” highlighted Hampshire in his interview to PsyPost.
The study was entitled “Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19” and published in the Lancet journal EClinical Medicine.
- Large study finds COVID-19 is linked to a substantial deficit in intelligence
- A.Hampshire et al., Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19, EClinicalMedicine (2021) – (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101044)