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COVID's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years


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COVID's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years

By Kate Kelland

 

2020-10-27T124307Z_1_LYNXMPEG9Q163_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRAINS.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Vahram Haroutunian holds a human brain in a brain bank in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

 

LONDON (Reuters) - People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain ageing by 10 years, researchers warned on Tuesday.

 

A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a doctor at Imperial College London, found that in some severe cases, coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months.

 

"Our analyses ... align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19," the researchers wrote in a report of their findings. "People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits."

 

Cognitive tests measure how well the brain performs tasks –- such as remembering words or joining dots on a puzzle. Such tests are widely used to assess brain performance in diseases like Alzheimer's, and can also help doctors assess temporary brain impairments.

 

Hampshire's team analysed results from 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. The findings, which have yet to be reviewed by other experts, were published online on the MedRxiv website.

 

The cognitive deficits were "of substantial effect size", particularly among people who had been hospitalised with COVID-19, the researchers said, with the worst cases showing impacts "equivalent to the average 10-year decline in global performance between the ages of 20 to 70".

 

Scientists not directly involved with the study, however, said its results should be viewed with some caution.

 

"The cognitive function of the participants was not known pre-COVID, and the results also do not reflect long-term recovery - so any effects on cognition may be short term," said Joanna Wardlaw, a professor of applied neuroimaging at Edinburgh University.

 

Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging science at University College London, also noted that the study's findings could not be entirely reliable, since they did not compare before and after scores, and involved a large number of people who self-reported having had COVID-19, who had no positive test.

 

"Overall (this is) an intriguing but inconclusive piece of research into the effect of COVID on the brain," Hill said.

 

"As researchers seek to better understand the long term impact of COVID, it will be important to further investigate the extent to which cognition is impacted in the weeks and months after the infection, and whether permanent damage to brain function results in some people."

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-10-27
 
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If your system is brought within a hair of kicking the bucket, can't really expect everything to bounce right back to baseline. The severe cases were already mostly elderly and pre-disposed to start with.

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8 minutes ago, Lacessit said:

the real problems are coming with younger people who are having to undergo weeks and months of rehabilitation due to lung damage and other effects.

How many people do you know with these problems?

 

Personal experiences,

Cancer ...... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

High BP ..... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

Heart disease .... yes

RTAs ....... yes

Falling in the shower ...... yes

COVID ....... not 1, if it's that serious, how come I don't know any sufferers?

Edited by BritManToo
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1 hour ago, BritManToo said:

How many people do you know with these problems?

 

Personal experiences,

Cancer ...... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

High BP ..... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

Heart disease .... yes

RTAs ....... yes

Falling in the shower ...... yes

COVID ....... not 1, if it's that serious, how come I don't know any sufferers?

My son knows several in Australia, his age and younger. Yes, anecdotal.

The medical profession seems to be concerned. Easy to say it's in their interest to do so, hard to claim superior knowledge.

You're living in Thailand, how would you know any sufferers here?

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13 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits."

So it looks as though Covid 10 has been around for a very long time then. :cheesy::cheesy:

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1 hour ago, Lacessit said:

My son knows several in Australia, his age and younger. Yes, anecdotal.

The medical profession seems to be concerned. Easy to say it's in their interest to do so, hard to claim superior knowledge.

You're living in Thailand, how would you know any sufferers here?

I participate (nearly every day) in hobby forums with members from around the world, nobody on any of them claims to have first hand knowledge of any COVID victims. If it were that significant you'd think a few of them would have either been suffering, or have immediate family members suffering. None of my family or friends in the UK appear to have first hand knowledge either.

 

In fact I (and my family) appear to be the only one's I know to have caught it (untested as we're in Thailand), it wasn't that bad for me (caught direct from Chinese tourists at CM/Saigon airport), and a bit worse than normal flu for my woman and son (caught from me).

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43 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

I participate (nearly every day) in hobby forums with members from around the world, nobody on any of them claims to have first hand knowledge of any COVID victims. If it were that significant you'd think a few of them would have either been suffering, or have immediate family members suffering. None of my family or friends in the UK appear to have first hand knowledge either.

 

In fact I (and my family) appear to be the only one's I know to have caught it (untested as we're in Thailand), it wasn't that bad for me (caught direct from Chinese tourists at CM/Saigon airport), and a bit worse than normal flu for my woman and son (caught from me).

I'm not sure how you can know you've had COVID-19 when you haven't been tested for it. Could have been any one of half a dozen alternative ailments.

Did you lose your sense of smell and taste? Did you have breathing difficulty? So many symptoms that other illnesses can have as well.

 

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4 hours ago, BritManToo said:

How many people do you know with these problems?

 

Personal experiences,

Cancer ...... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

High BP ..... yes that's serious I know loads that have died/ill.

Heart disease .... yes

RTAs ....... yes

Falling in the shower ...... yes

COVID ....... not 1, if it's that serious, how come I don't know any sufferers?

 

But those are cases you have encounter throughout your long and innumerate life.  The relevant comparison is how many such cases do you personally know of that have occurred in the past eight or nine months?

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Just now, cmarshall said:

 

But those are cases you have encountered throughout your long and innumerate life.  The relevant comparison is how many such cases do you personally know of that have occurred just in the past eight or nine months?

 

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Govonorof utah had press conference today.  His daughter and granddaughter have lost sense of taste and smell for months.  Granddaughter is losing weight because she is noxious.   And there are reports of heart and lung damage.  Numbers  in my state ar record levels as well as America.    Its not over.  Cold weather has arrived and they say this will be real  bad.  

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18 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

But those are cases you have encounter throughout your long and innumerate life.  The relevant comparison is how many such cases do you personally know of that have occurred in the past eight or nine months?

Last week, Thai Bil (age 52) dropped almost dead in the street (in a coma) ........ forgot his BP medicine, burst blood vessel.

Last month, auntie (age 72) dropped dead in her garden, suspected heart failure.

3 months back, cousin (late 40s) died of cancer, they'd be whittling her away for the past 5 years.

Last summer my best pal (aged 59) died of AIDS, he'd been in hospital for a year.

A bit further back Dave2 (age 70) a member on this forum found rotting in his room, history of strokes.

 

If you want to expand your 9 months to 5 years, I could probably list 20 deaths of people I know.

As you get older (60+) its a race to the graveyard.

 

I'll probably die of cancer in the next year, doubt I'll last another 2.

 

How many deaths do you need?

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5 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

Last week, Thai Bil (age 52) dropped almost dead in the street (in a coma) ........ forgot his BP medicine, burst blood vessel.

Last month, auntie (age 72) dropped dead in her garden, suspected heart failure.

3 months back, cousin (late 40s) died of cancer, they'd be whittling her away for the past 5 years.

Last summer my best pal (aged 59) died of AIDS, he'd been in hospital for a year.

A bit further back Dave2 (age 70) a member on this forum found rotting in his room, history of strokes.

 

If you want to expand your 9 months to 5 years, I could probably list 20 deaths of people I know.

As you get older (60+) its a race to the graveyard.

 

I'll probably die of cancer in the next year, doubt I'll last another 2.

 

How many deaths do you need?

My nephew had Covid 19 as did two very good friends in the USA.  All three said it was the worst thing that they had ever had and that they would not wish it on anyone else.  None of them are the sort to exaggerate.  Thankfully all three have made a full recovery.  

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16 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

the study's findings could not be entirely reliable, since they did not compare before and after scores, and involved a large number of people who self-reported having had COVID-19, who had no positive test.

More like something akin to "the sky is falling" when the rain turns to hail. 

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