Researchers: COVID-19 Infection May Harm Intelligence

Britain scientists from Imperial College London said that people who have recovered from COVID-19 were more likely to score poorly on intelligence tests.

Adam Hampshire, a cognitive neuroscientist at Imperial College London and lead author of the paper, said it’s yet unclear how long the illness affects cognition.

However, Hampshire stated that authorities should carefully review the findings, particularly in places like the United Kingdom, where lockdown and social distance laws have been eased.

“I think it is fair to say that those of us who have been analyzing data, such as this, is somewhat nervous at the decision to let the pandemic run its course within the UK,” Hampshire said.

Those who had been on ventilators had the most significant deficit, equal to a seven-point drop in IQ.

“The deficits were most pronounced for paradigms that tapped cognitive functions such as reasoning, problem-solving, spatial planning, and target detection,” the authors wrote.

“These results accord with reports of long Covid, where ‘brain fog,’ trouble concentrating, and difficulty finding correct words are common,” authors added.

Of the 81,337 people who participated in the intelligence survey last year, 12,689 individuals reported that they had tested positive for COVID-19.


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