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Eur J Neurol ; 29(7): 2006-2014, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741375


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cognitive dysfunction has been observed following recovery from COVID-19. To the best of our knowledge, however, no study has assessed the progression of cognitive impairment after 1 year. The aim was to assess cognitive functioning at 1 year from hospital discharge, and eventual associations with specific clinical variables. METHODS: Seventy-six patients (aged 22-74 years) who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 were recruited. Patients received neuropsychological assessments at 5 (n = 76) and 12 months (n = 53) from hospital discharge. RESULTS: Over half (63.2%) of the patients had deficits in at least one test at 5 months. Compared to the assessment at 5 months, verbal memory, attention and processing speed improved significantly after 1 year (all p < 0.05), whereas visuospatial memory did not (all p > 0.500). The most affected domains after 1 year were processing speed (28.3%) and long-term visuospatial (18.1%) and verbal (15.1%) memory. Lower PaO2 /FiO2 ratios in the acute phase were associated with worse verbal long-term memory (p = 0.029) and visuospatial learning (p = 0.041) at 5 months. Worse visuospatial long-term memory at 5 months was associated with hyposmia (p = 0.020) and dysgeusia (p = 0.037). CONCLUSION: Our study expands the results from previous studies showing that cognitive impairment can still be observed after 1 year. Patients with severe COVID-19 should receive periodic cognitive follow-up evaluations, as cognitive deficits in recovered patients could have social and occupational implications.

COVID-19 , Cognition Disorders , Cognitive Dysfunction , Cognition , Cognition Disorders/psychology , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Neuropsychological Tests