COVID-19 could age the brain by 10 years

Sun Online Desk

30th October, 2020 03:26:43 printer

COVID-19 could age the brain by 10 years


Brain fog and sharp cognitive decline, which can age a person's brain are the newest post COVID side-effects which are puzzling both patients and doctors equally.

While symptoms like breathlessness, lingering cough and chronic fatigue can be some of the most common symptoms of post-COVID, which affect 75% patients, some of the symptoms can be more complex in nature, and even impair the functioning of the brain in the long run, reports Times of India.

COVID patients can experience cognitive decline

Recent studies have proven the fact that some patients can go on to experience significant cognitive decline and memory loss for months after being diagnosed with a positive infection, reports Times of India


Many are also experiencing chronic memory loss, confusion, delirium. In fact, studies peg that the damage caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus can age the brain by at least 10 years.


What did the study find?

The analysis was observed after COVID recovered patients were subjected to a number of tests which determined their cognitive skills.

It was observed that people who had COVID performed "worse" on these tests than what was expected out of them, depending on their age, skills and demography.

It was also observed that cognitive impairment and decline was evident is not just patients who had an active COVID infection, but also those who had recovered weeks and months before.

COVID-19 can age the brain back by ten years, finds study

The study, interestingly, also found that the heaviest impact was evident in those who had been previously hospitalized, or suffered from severe forms of COVID infection.

Experts observed that hospitalized COVID patients suffered from severe brain ageing by upto 10 years, or witnessed an 8.5 point decline in their IQ levels.

It's not the first time such bad outcomes have been associated with COVID hospitalization. Experts have said that severe forms of illness can cause a host of gradual and lifelong damages- from lung fibrosis, excruciating fatigue, heart damage as well.

Why does COVID impact the brain so bad?

A smaller study done on 509 patients, which has been published in the Annals of Clinical and Transitional Neurology observed similar results. The researchers found that the most common neurological manifestations of the disease included myalgia (44.8 per cent), headaches (37.7 per cent), 31.8 per cent had encephalopathy, 29.7 per cent observed dizziness, 5.9 per cent had dysgeusia (distorted sense of taste), and 11.4 per cent of the patients suffered from anosmia (loss of smell).

Brain fog a manifestation of PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a common implication of COVID recovery.

Are there measures which can help?

While COVID recovery can take time before they really go away, any changes which impact you cognitively or mentally should be paid attention to, at the earliest.

If you have recently been detected negative for the virus and still asked to self-quarantine, remember to take it easy. Do not expect to steadily get back to your previous life as soon as you test negative, reports Times of India.