Brain Changes Observed in COVID Survivors Aged 60+

May 2, 2022

A recent study published in JAMA Neurology looked at 3,233 COVID-19 survivors 60 years of age and older who had been discharged from hospitalization in Wuhan, China. The purpose of the study was to determine the long-term impact of COVID-19 on cognition and “investigate the 1-year trajectory of cognitive changes in older COVID-19 survivors.” Their 466 uninfected spouses served as the control population. The study did not include those that had a family history of dementia, cognitive impairment, or neurological disorders prior to their COVID infection.

The final follow-up, conducted at 6 and 12 months, included 1,438 COVID survivors and 438 controls. It was found that “the incidence of cognitive impairment in survivors 12 months after discharge was 12.45%.” Researchers also discovered that “severe COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of early-onset cognitive decline, late-onset cognitive decline, and progressive cognitive decline.”