Study uncovers lingering effects of COVID-19 on cognitive function two years after infection

Difficulties with cognitive functions or skills, such as the ability to recall memories, concentrate on tasks, or find the right words in conversation, are commonly reported following a COVID infection. These symptoms are often referred to as “brain fog”, and are especially common among people who have long-term or persistent symptoms called long COVID.

At the latest count in March 2023, there were 1 million people in the UK with long COVID who reported difficulty concentrating, and three-quarters of a million who reported memory loss or confusion.

In the short term, brain fog symptoms can affect people’s ability to carry out their normal daily tasks, such as work and childcare, and reduce their quality of life.

In the longer term, mild cognitive impairment can develop into more severe conditions, such as dementia. COVID infection generally has been linked to an increased risk of being diagnosed with dementia.

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