Neurocognitive deficits after a COVID-19 illness reflect extensive functional disorders of the cerebral cortex

“In the majority of patients who had to be hospitalized for an acute COVID-19 illness, defined cognitive impairments were found in the subacute phase,” summarizes PD Dr. Jonas Hosp (University hospital Freiburg, Germany) summarized the results of his study. “The findings match the visibly reduced glucose metabolism in the 18FDG-PET, i. H. a regional reduction in performance in the corresponding areas of the cerebral cortex. “The working group at the University of Freiburg has already published the results of a follow-up on eight patients from the original study. In the course of the study, there was a significant improvement in the neurocognitive deficits, which was accompanied by an extensive normalization of the brain metabolism. “The positive result can be stated: the cognitive limitations are reversible per se. However, it must be said that some of those affected have not yet reached a normal level even six months after the acute illness, so the complete restoration of health seems to be tedious in some cases,” said PD Dr. Hosp

“These findings show that neurocognitive problems after a COVID-19 illness have a measurable cause. In order to better understand the overall extent and to be able to assess the post-COVID course under therapy, prospective follow-up studies are now necessary ”, adds Prof. Dr. Peter Berlit, Secretary General of the German Society for Neurology.

What does this mean for the future: Increasing need for neuropsychological therapy and occupational therapy training in patient groups that were previously not included in any requirement planning. Digitization can now help and support and encourage suitable patients. !

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