New Delhi: Symptomatic long COVID may be associated with self-perceived cognitive difficulties such as memory problems, according to a study. Long COVID is described as experiencing persistent symptoms of the disease more than four weeks after initial infection. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US noted that over one in three people experiencing long COVID symptoms perceived such cognitive deficits, which have been found to be related to anxiety and depression.
The findings, published recently in the journal JAMA Network Open, show that psychological issues such as anxiety or depressive disorders may play a part in some people who are experiencing long COVID, technically known as post-COVID-19 condition, or PCC. Study senior author Neil Wenger, a professor at UCLA, said,
This perception of cognitive deficits suggests that affective issues—in this case anxiety and depression—appear to carry over into the long COVID period. This is not to say that long COVID is all in one’s head, but that it is likely not a single condition and that for some proportion of patients there is likely a component of anxiety or depression that is exacerbated by the disease.
The researchers surveyed 766 patients who had confirmed symptomatic COVID infection and had either been hospitalised at UCLA or at one of 20 health care facilities in the US or were referred to the programme by a primary care physician and been treated as outpatients.
Patients were surveyed by telephone at 30 days, 60 days and 90 days following hospital discharge or, in the case of non-hospitalised patients, after the date of a positive COVID test to ascertain if they felt their health was back to normal.
The researchers found that 276 (36.1 per cent) of the patients surveyed perceived during the acute illness or the following weeks that they had cognitive difficulties. The study also found that these patients were twice as likely as those without perceived cognitive deficits to report experiencing physical symptoms at 60 and 90 days.
The researchers acknowledged some limitations to the findings. These include a lack of objective cognition measures because the survey relied on subjective responses about cognitive deficits. They also did not have data on participants’ possible cognition, depression, and anxiety prior to COVID infection.
The findings may not apply to other patient cohorts given that participants were treated at an academic medical centre and were referred to the programme based on physicians’ belief that the patients were at clinically high risk for cognition deficits, the researchers added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.