The following is a summary of “Cognitive impairments and mental health of patients with post-COVID-19: A cross-sectional study” published in the October 2023 issue of Psychosomatic Research by Morawa, et al.
After COVID-19, one of the most common types of symptoms is ongoing issues with one’s cognitive functioning. In this research, post-COVID-19 patients were investigated to determine their neuropsychological profile, mental health, and potential risk factors for cognitive impairment. Patients were selected one at a time and enrolled in the study at the Post COVID Center at the University Hospital during December 2022 and May 2023. They were given a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation that included the Verbal Learning Memory Test (VLMT), the digit span backward from the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R), the Trail Making Test (TMT) Part A and B, the d2 Test of Attention, and the Regensburger Verbal Fluency Test (RWT).
All of these tests were administered to them. Investigators determined the percentage of people whose age-adjusted scores were lower than the norms for each cognitive area by computing this statistic. The Patient-Health-Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to ascertain the presence of depressive symptoms. Calculations of logistic regression analyses were carried out.
Verbal fluency, working speed, delayed memory, and attention were shown to be the most common forms of cognitive impairment among 110 patients (mean age: 42.5 11.9 years; 68.2% women). In almost every aspect of cognitive functioning, having a higher education level was connected with having a lower risk of cognitive impairment. Regarding working speed and delayed recollection, older age was associated with an increased risk, but verbal fluency was positively correlated with age. Having clinically meaningful symptoms of depression was connected with an increased likelihood of having certain cognitive functions impaired.
Patients diagnosed with post-COVID-19 often presented with cognitive dysfunctions. To accurately characterize the post-COVID condition, it is essential to conduct separate investigations into the various forms of cognitive impairment. In the future, cognitive impairment characteristics should be connected to changes in biological indicators of the illness, such as markers of immunological and microcirculatory change.