December 4, 2022

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Corona’s effect on memory is less than its effect on other cognitive functions - New Scientist

Corona’s effect on memory is less than its effect on other cognitive functions – New Scientist

People who have had corona can have permanent cognitive complaints. Memory seems less affected than other features.

Corona can cause permanent brain problems, such as decreased concentration and decreased ability to think. This is now generally accepted in science. However, memory appears to be the least affected of all cognitive functions.

Most of the previous studies examined Cognitive effects of corona Tests designed to evaluate dementia are used. “These don’t give exact measurements, and they don’t really measure the diversity of brain function,” says neuroscientist Connor Wild of Western University in Ontario, Canada.


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For a better analysis, Wilde and colleagues used a . file Cognitive Assessment Tool It was developed by brain scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK. This online test measures cognition using twelve tasks in five areas: thinking, verbal processing, memory, processing speed, and general cognition.

They grew up young

Researchers asked 478 adults with COVID-19 to complete the test. Participants tested positive between one week and nine months before the start of the study. It is not known whether the participants contracted corona once or several times. About 14 percent said they ended up in the hospital due to illness.

The researchers compared the results of these participants with 7,832 people who had been tested before the pandemic. They found that people who contracted coronavirus had significantly lower cognitive scores on average. Their decline was equivalent to the cognitive decline that occurs with age 4.5 years, Wilde says. Seriously ill people got the worst scores. But people with a mild disease course were also less cognitively strong.

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save memory?

Covid-19 appears to affect certain brain functions more than others. The processing speed was the most affected. If you compare the scores of coronavirus patients in that region with those of a control group, it’s as if people who tested positive for the disease were, on average, ‘older’ because of their illness, Wilde says. Verbal processing and logical thinking scores were also significantly lower in those who had contracted Covid-19.

Remarkably, the researchers found no significant differences in memory performance. In previous studies, it looked as if memory was deteriorating due to the coronavirus infection.

“Memory is kind of a blanket term, and it includes a number of different types of memory,” Wilde says. He says the assessment tool used in this study places more emphasis on measuring short-term memory. This may explain the difference with previous studies.

sleep problems

By identifying the aspects of cognition that are affected by Covid-19, we can lung covid They understand better, says neuroscientist Frederic Meunier of the University of Queensland in Australia. In addition, we may also be able to develop better treatments for the disease.

For example, previous research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep have similar problems: decreased processing ability and general cognition, but intact memory. This may suggest that the effects of Covid-19 are somehow related to the broken nights.

Compare one to one

Note on search It compared dozens of Corona patients with dozens before the pandemic. As a result, researchers cannot say with certainty that the differences are caused by the disease. Wild says stress from a global pandemic could also play a role.

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