Covid 19 - Has the Pandemic harmed our memories?
Brain fog or memory loss may seem to be common among adults, but these are not to be neglected, specially post COVID-19, the pandemic is said to have harmed our memories. How much of it is true when it comes to this acute pandemic that is still said to linger around. Let us find out the link between cognitive decline with relation to pandemic
Is pandemic harming our memories?
In the midst of COVID, a head neurologist found out some disturbing facts about brain fog and pandemic at the COVID Survivorship Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As per the observations and findings a neurologist came out with the conclusion that most of their patients are complaining focus issues, memory loss and often forgetfulness when they are to use certain words. Estimated 32% of patients who recovered from COVID-19 and reported at the cognitive clinic complained of brain fog post the infection.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is when an individual experience sluggish thinking or slow thought process and this can occur in any given circumstances, for instance when suffers from insomnia, when they fell ill, side effects to certain medicines known to induce drowsiness, these result in brain fog.
A brain concussion and even chemotherapy is known to be leading cause of brain fog. Although it is temporary and takes time to get better without medical attention required, but when it comes with relation to COVID-19 it requires an in-depth analysis.
What is cognition?
It is the brain process of thinking, learning, reading, reasoning, remembering and paying attention. Impairment to cognitive function reduces the ability to perform these tasks smoothly.
People who have been hospitalized for COVID suffer from numerous problems in relation to cognition this includes the following:
- Attention is affected that impairs the processing of information in the brain and it hinders the ability to focus on other details.
- Memory is adversely affected, so are other functions like memory retention, storing power, learning ability and retrieving information.
- Executive function is impacted that requires complex skills such as focus, remembering instructions, planning, attention and juggling other numerous tasks.
Impact of COVID on memory
It is observed that COVID patients are suffering from memory troubles, attention problems and mother executive functions.
As per studies people who were hospitalized and those who were not even hospitalized for COVID reported same issues. Even those who suffered with mild COVID were reporting cases of memory lapses.
As per a recent study carried out by German researchers, people who are not observing any cognitive impairment signs are still prone to suffer with memory and attention issues post COVID-19 recovery.
These are however, not sever but mild cases of infection, it involved observing 136 participants in the study where brain games were involved to check their brain performance. These were the people with average of 30 year old age. All reported having memory issues and trouble with thinking patterns whether they were hospitalized or not.
People with COVID were not able to perform well compared to those who were not yet infected with the virus.
Although, the effects of memory loss lasted for a while and they recovered on their own, but the problematic part is that memory impairment took 6 months to recover and in 9 months they were fully able to return to normal brain functioning.
Nonetheless, it is still hard to establish cognitive abilities and relation between COVID directly, it requires extensive research.
Cognition and COVID
Even after numerous research and reports on COVID infections and cognition, it is difficult to fully establish a link between the two; it is just the beginning where it is hard to conclude something concrete about it.
It is observed that patients of COVID across all ages whether with mild or sever illness were affected with temporary cognition impairment.
The only fact that can be stated with such studies is that even after suffering from memory troubles they were able to recover. Even though it is widespread but cognitive impairment due to COVID is reversible.