After a year and a half of the pandemic, studies are increasingly pointing to the first sequelae of an infection with the coronavirus in humans. Around 40 percent of the sick suffer from long-lasting symptoms and complaints, also called Long-Covid. The consequential damage of a Covid 19 infection cannot yet be properly assessed.
A study by British brain researchers now shows that Covid-19 can also have an impact on the human brain. Specifically, the scientists at Imperial College in London examined how severely the cognitive abilities of sick people are impaired by Covid-19. 81,337 people took part in the study. They took an intelligence test between January and December 2020. 12,689 participants were infected with the coronavirus and fell ill with Covid-19 to varying degrees.
Intensive care patients hardest hit
The study has now been published in the trade journal «The Lancet» published and «Watson» reported about it. It produces worrying results. Participants who were sick with Covid-19 performed significantly worse in the intelligence test than non-infected people. According to the study, the sufferers had the greatest difficulties in tasks that required logical thinking, planning and problem-solving.
The people who had to be treated and ventilated in the intensive care unit because of Covid-19 had the most problems with the intelligence test. According to the research, they have an IQ about seven points lower. That corresponds to a brain aging of around ten years. Their cognitive abilities are therefore more impaired than those of study participants who stated that they had suffered a stroke or suffered from a learning disability.