The devastating neurological effects of coronavirus can persist for more than a year, even when other symptoms subside, a new study published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology informs.
Researchers conducted the longest study of neurological symptoms among patients with COVID-19 for long periods of time who were never hospitalized.
Neurological symptoms, which include brain fog, numbness, tingling, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus and fatigue, are the most commonly reported symptoms of the disease.
The new study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, is an extension of a shorter-term study published last spring that included 100 patients with long-term COVID-19. In that study, 85% of patients reported at least four long-term neurological problems after six weeks of acute infections.
In the follow-up study, the team continued to examine 52 of the original participants who had been patients at the University Neuro Clinic for 18 months. The group of study participants was three-quarters female, and the average age of the patients was 43. Nearly 80 percent were vaccinated, and all had mild symptoms of coronavirus that did not require hospitalization.
Researchers also found that some symptoms, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure and gastrointestinal problems, worsened over time, while loss of taste and smell tended to improve. Coronavirus vaccination did not relieve the symptoms, but it did not worsen the course of the disease either.