Study: Memory problems more common after severe cases of Covid-19
AFP photo of a coronavirus patient.

Trouble with remembering things, finding words and processing new information are among the long-term cognitive problems that appear to be occurring more frequently than previously thought after severe Covid-19 cases, according to a new study.

A study in the US published in the scientific journal Jama shows that former patients hospitalized with Covid-19 were affected many times more frequently than people with less severe cases and who were treated as outpatients.

There were particularly strong differences in problems with finding words: This occurred in 13 per cent of outpatients but in 35 per cent of those treated in hospital.

In terms of problems with attention span, the figures were 5 and 15 per cent, while memory was impaired in 12 per cent of outpatients and 39 per cent of hospitalized patients.

The study is based on data from 740 Covid-19 patients registered with the US Mount Sinai Hospital Group. Sixty-three per cent of the participants were women.

Overall, the patients most often suffered from problems with remembering and memorizing things - this affected almost one in four people in the study.

This was followed by word-finding problems or a generally slower speed in processing information. The study did not include patients who had no contact with medical staff.

The long-term cognitive effects of Covid-19 are part of a whole series of health complaints with which former coronavirus patients have to struggle.

Over 200 symptoms are associated with Long Covid, and there are many overlaps with illnesses that are difficult to grasp - for example, depression and psychosomatic clinical pictures.