Study reveals cognitive impairments in post-covid syndrome

The work of the Neuroscience Institute of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital (Madrid) studies the relationship between fatigue and cognitive function in post-Covid syndrome

study Ongoing Spanish on cognitive alterations in people with post-covid syndrome reveals the onset of cognitive deficits, including in attention and processing speed, executive functions and episodic memory, according to several articles published in scientific journals.

One of the works of researchers from the Neuroscience Institute of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Madrid, appears in Journal of Clinical Medicine, is studying the relationship between fatigue and cognitive function in post-covid syndrome, according to a statement from the health center.

Fatigue is one of the “most frequent and debilitating symptoms of this syndrome, having a physical and cognitive component. In this study, patients were assessed using one of the most widely used fatigue scales in science (MFIS). An in-depth neuropsychological assessment protocol was also carried out,” he adds.

Using machine learning algorithms, an attempt was made to predict the results of the fatigue assessment with the data obtained from the neuropsychological assessment. However, the models failed to reliably estimate the presence or absence of fatigue, including cognitive fatigue, or its severity.

“These results are important for understanding the characteristics of the cognitive deficits observed in the post-Covid syndrome. The results of our investigations support that fatigue, depression, anxiety and cognitive deficits probably have different mechanisms in the post-covid syndrome. This is important for the approach and the development of treatments for this disease”, explains the researcher Jordi Matias-Guiu Antem.

Personality traits in people who transmitted COVID-19

In another study, published in brain science, Personality traits were assessed in people with postcovid syndrome.

The researchers concluded that certain personality characteristics were associated with the development of anxiety and depression. The same is true for other chronic pathologies, but “not for cognitive deficits, fatigue or sleep quality”.

In a third study, published in the journal Psychiatric Research Journal, Scientists looked at patients who reported persistent symptoms for months after suffering from COVID-19 through comprehensive cognitive assessment, 74% of whom were women with an average age of 51.

Fatigue, depressive symptomatology, anxiety, sleep and olfactory function were assessed. They concluded that “no relationship was observed between depressive symptoms or anxiety with cognitive function.”

The cognitive deficits observed confirm that “infection with SARS-CoV-2 it is associated with cognitive alterations that can be objectified” by a cognitive examination.

Although the cognitive impairments “were generally mild or moderate in magnitude”, the fact that they affect young people suggests “high impact”, according to the research.

“Knowing the pattern of cognitive alterations in post-covid syndrome is important. On the one hand, for the differential diagnosis with other pathologies. On the other hand, it is a first step to seek interventions which make it possible to improve these deficits”, he underlines. Matias-Guiu.

The study consists of a comprehensive assessment of patients that lasts three days. It will be carried out thanks to a battery of tests lasting several hours given by expert professionals in neuropsychology. Others are computerized and self-administered by the participants themselves.

In addition, the results obtained with magnetic resonance imaging and blood biomarkers are correlated.

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