People who experienced mild COVID-19 infections showed attention and memory problems, but those problems appeared to be only temporary, according to a new study published Wednesday.
Researchers from Oxford University studied 136 people, consisting of both people who had received COVID-19 and those who had not. When it came to looking at factors such as sleep patterns, fatigue, and anxiety, the participants included in the study who had previously had COVID-19 did not differ significantly from their control group colleagues.
All were asked to perform 12 different cognitive tasks, including those on object memory, spatial span, and motor control.
The results of the study showed that "COVID-19 survivors showed a significant reduction in their ability to maintain attention on a demanding task up to 9 months after COVID-19 infection, along with mild, but significantly worse, episodic memory in up to 6 months "- of which the latter refers to reminiscent of personal past events.
Researchers noted that the study had a few limitations, including its small sample size.
"We still do not understand the mechanisms that cause these cognitive deficits, but it is very encouraging to see that these attention and memory largely return to normal in most people, we tested 6-9 months after infection, which showed good improvement over time, Oxford University Professor Masud Husain, one of the researchers involved in the study, said in a statement.
The research may provide more clues as to how COVID-19 affects humans in the weeks and months after they have been tested positive.
Health organizations have already stated that people who have COVID-19 may develop "long COVID-19", referred to as "post-COVID conditions" by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, which may include fatigue or tiredness, sleep problems, dizziness and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.