COVID-19's Cognitive Impact on the Brain

November 5, 2020
Briana Contreras
Briana Contreras

While ongoing stress from COVID-19 has had an effect on many people's mental health, contracting the virus may have much more of an impact on the brain.

While ongoing stress from COVID-19 has had an affect on many people's mental health, contracting the virus may have much more of an impact on the brain.

Recent reports are showing that some people are reporting they are experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms of cognitive changes affecting memory, way of thinking and more.

President of Western University of Health and Sciences, Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, and former president of the American Neuropsychiatric Association, has been closely monitoring the impact COVID-19.

Wilson has noted the virus is "effecting the brain in a way that reduces memory or concentration (as) a classic neuropsychiatric issue."

With this particular issue being one of the many effects of COVID-19, there is still more research be done on the virus and its cognitive affects

"More research is conducted every day as we continue to learn about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the human mind and body," Wilson says. "Recent reports showing a loss of cognitive ability could impact people's ability to maintain their quality of life, performance at their job, and more."

Should the disease start to take away cognitive ability, the next downstream effect on some people could be mild depression or apathy, he adds.

It's currently up to time itself to tell if the percentage of those who have shown a drop in cognitive function will regain cognitive ability or if things will continue to deteriorate.

Wilson says it will be important to further investigate the extent to which cognition is impacted in the weeks and months after the infection, and whether permanent damage to brain function results in some people, as researchers seek to better understand the long-term impact of COVID-19.

"No study can claim a clear conclusion, but it is imperative that people do everything they can to protect themselves from contracting and/or spreading the COVID-19 virus," Wilson adds.