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Covid-19 long haulers face persistent neurological symptoms: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 29, 2021

Most common symptom was brain fog, involving memory problems, lack of mental clarity, inability to focus; study’s long haulers were mostly women, with an average age of 43

Covid-19 long haulers may face persistent neurological symptoms, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

The researchers intended to monitor Covid-19 long haulers who were not hospitalised during their course of infection.

Long haulers are those who have recovered from Covid-19 but experience persistent symptoms. Some report prolonged cough and difficulty breathing, while others have neurological symptoms.

Earlier studies had suggested that neurological manifestations were reported in 36.4 to 82.3 per cent of hospitalised Covid-19 patients globally.

Methodology

Now, the new study included the first 100 consecutive patients, wherein 50 were SARS-CoV-2 positive, and 50 were negative. These patients were presented to the neuro-Covid-19 clinic from May to November 2020.

The researchers noted the frequency of neurologic symptoms lasting more than six weeks and analysed the patient-reported quality of life measures.

The findings of the study indicated that after the SARS-CoV-2 infection, 85 per cent reported at least four ongoing neurological issues, which impacted their daily lives.

The most common symptom was brain fog, which involves memory problems, lack of mental clarity, and inability to focus.

Furthermore, about 81 per cent of the participants reported ongoing issues with memory and thinking, followed by 68 per cent reporting headaches.

Over half of the respondents reported problems with smell, taste, tingling or numbness, and muscle ache.

The less common symptoms included dizziness (47 per cent), pain (43 per cent), blurred vision (30 per cent), and tinnitus (29 per cent).

The team also revealed that most of the study’s long haulers were women, with an average age of 43.

Published on March 29, 2021

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