Long Covid and effects on the brain, the discovery on IQ lost with the virus

The Long Covid has effects unpleasant on human brain, even leading to a clear one reduction in IQ. This was discovered by British experts who, by publishing a study on New England Journal of Medicine have revealed all the side effects suffered by the patients studied with the prolonged infection. The tests, conducted on over 113,000 people, have in fact highlighted damage resulting from “cognitive fog”, with patients with persistent post-Covid symptoms even suffering damage to their brain such as to reduce their IQ, or performance quotient. intelligence (IQ) from 6 to 9 points.

The effects of Long Covid on the brain

In fact, from the English study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it emerges that an increasingly higher percentage of patients present in the tests taken into consideration by the researchers have suffered brain damage. Researchers at Imperial College London surveyed 112,964 adults who completed an online cognitive assessment during the last five months of 2022.

Around 46,000 of them, or 41%, said they had never had the Covid infection, just as many said they had been affected by the coronavirus and reported that their illness lasted less than four weeks and around 3,200 patients showed symptoms after -Covids that have lasted four to 12 weeks after infection. The study found 3,900 cases of people whose symptoms lasted longer than 12 weeks, and in some cases a year or more.

Cognitive tests revealed a discovery that shocked researchers, with patients with persistent post-Covid symptoms having a IQ equivalent to 6 points lower compared to those who had not been infected. People who were infected, but who no longer had symptoms at the time of the test, obtained slightly lower scores than those who had not been infected, with IQ lower by 3 points.

The differences in cognitive scores were relatively small, however, with neurological experts cautioning that the research findings do not imply that infection with the coronavirus or development of prolonged Covid could cause profound deficits in thinking and functioning.

Studies and warnings on Long Covid

Recent studies, before the English one, had confirmed that the infection resulting from Long Covid could lead to brain damage. An Italian research, for example, underlined that persistent mental tiredness was one of these.

The Neuro-Covid Italy study, promoted by the Italian Society of Neurology (Sin) and published at the end of last year in the journal Neurology, showed that 30% of people affected by Long Covid report having memory problems and 20% attention problems. A study conducted by the University of Barcelona and published in the journal Disease Models & Mechanism, however, has proven that in acute Sars-CoV2 infection the majority of the structures of the central nervous system, brain, brainstem and cerebellum, are affected by phenomena of neuroinflammation, axonal degeneration and gliosis of nerve cells, i.e. the formation of scarred areas.

Research that doesn’t let virologists sleep peacefully, but which shouldn’t cause alarm. Fabrizio Pregliasco, medical director of Galeazzi in Milan, however, wants to see clearly: “This study represents a sad quantification of the effects of a pathology, Covid in fact, which is not only fever and respiratory problems, but also attacks the brain area. However, the result achieved in terms of knowledge represents only the objective data, there is no in-depth analysis of what happens and what determines it, a matter that will be the subject of subsequent studies, as well as the therapeutic terms”.