COVID-19 On The Brain: The Majority Of Long-Haulers Continue To Have Neurological Symptoms

Pilot results from a prospective trial revealed that most persons with long neurologic COVID symptoms had them for at least six months.

Memory impairment and decreased concentration were the most common symptoms at six months in 27 people with neurologic post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) in the NeuCOVID cohort, according to Jacqueline Shanley, BA, and Jennifer Graves, MD, Ph.D., both of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and co-authors in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

Between October 2020 and October 2021, 56 people with neurological symptoms were enrolled in the trial after mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infections. They underwent a neurological examination, a cognitive assessment, self-reported questionnaires, and an optional brain scan.

Eighty-nine percent of participants said they were tired, and 80 percent said they had headaches when they initially came in. Memory loss, sleeplessness, and a lack of concentration are frequent neurological complaints. Eighty percent of those polled stated these symptoms negatively influenced their quality of life.

Corona Virus Affecting the Brain

Only one-third of individuals reported complete symptom relief when returning for their six-month follow-up. The remaining two-thirds of individuals said they still had neurological symptoms, though they were less severe. Memory impairment and poor concentration were the most common complaints at six months.

pants are high-level professionals who expect to score above average on cognitive examinations, yet they still score abnormally months after receiving COVID-19.”

According to Science Daily, Th discovery of a unique trait within the group also shocked the researchers. Seven percent of the subjects had previously undiagnosed symptoms such as cognitive impairments, tremors, and difficulties balancing. The authors classified the phenotype Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 infection with Tremor, Ataxia, and Cognitive Deficit as Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 infection with Tremor, Ataxia, and Cognitive Deficit (PASC-TAC).

“These are people who had no neurological abnormalities before COVID-19, and now they have body incoordination and possibly mental incoordination,” Graves explained. “We weren’t expecting to find this. Therefore, we’d like to spread the information in case other doctors also notice it.”

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James Oliver

James is a tech-savvy journalist who specializes in consumer electronics. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a knack for dissecting gadgets to their core. Whether it's smartphones, wearables, or smart home devices, James has got it covered. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking.