The most common symptoms of the postcovid condition (persistent covid), include fatigue, shortness of breath, or cognitive dysfunction, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These symptoms must be present for at least two months and for three months after the onset of the disease.
A study carried out by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) published in Brain and Behavior showed that the disease generated a generalized impact on attention skills, executive functions, learning and long-term memory.
It is estimated that between 9 % and 49 % of patients present fatigue four weeks after the onset of symptoms, and some even show that it can persist for a year in at least one third of patients.
In addition, the UOC published another study in the Journal of Neurology, this rEvela that fatigue in postcovid patients is related to anxiety, depression and apathy.
“Persistent fatigue is something very disabling and greatly limits people’s quality of life. If a person suffers from covid fatigue, it is important to go further and see what other symptoms or disorders are associated with this condition ”, says Marco Calabriaprincipal investigator of the article, member of the Cognitive NeuroLab group at the UOC and professor of Health Sciences Studies.
“It is not clear if fatigue is what generates depression or vice versa”Explain.
Scientists studied the case of 136 patients with COVID-19 eight months after contracting the virus. “We found that fatigue is associated with sustained attention, which we use to perform a task for a long time and keeps us focused, as well as with executive functions, which allow us to temporarily store information in order to perform tasks such as calculating or reworking. a phrase that we have heard”, says Calabria.
The results of the study, according to its authors, emphasize the importance of a holistic approach to evaluate and consider potential treatment for COVID-19 patients experiencing fatigue. But there are still many questions unanswered: “how are these changes reflected at the brain level, how long do they last, who is more likely to suffer from these symptoms for a long time or what are the individual characteristics that predict recovery. We will answer all these questions as time goes by, because it is something new and unknown”, concludes the researcher. (YO)