Some people who had been infected with COVID-19 may suffer from what has been referred to as “brain fog,” according to a recently released study.

The study, which was published Friday in the peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA Network Open, suggested that long-term side effects from COVID could include memory loss and other cognitive dysfunctions.

Researchers examined 740 patients from the Mount Sinai Health System who had contracted COVID-19 and found that memory encoding deficits showed up in 24% of participants and memory recall deficiencies were present in 23% of patients, according to the study.

The other common side effects discovered included processing speed, executive functioning, and phonemic and category fluency.

Processing speed includes time to complete a mental task, while executive functioning is related to setting and achieving goals. Phonemic and category fluency is the ability to find words based on the criteria provided.

For the study, researchers implemented the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, which uses categories of words to see how many a patient can recall. Also used was the Number Span test to recall digits by memory after seeing them on a screen.

According to the study, hospitalized COVID patients were much more likely to have impairments in executive functioning, processing speed, category fluency, memory encoding, and recall than those people that had COVID and were not hospitalized.

Researchers of the study concluded, “The association of COVID-19 with executive functioning raises key questions regarding patients’ long-term treatment. Future studies are needed to identify the risk factors and mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction as well as options for rehabilitation.”

A Covid-19 coronavirus patient breaths with the help of an oxygen mask inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU) hospital in Moradabad A Covid-19 coronavirus patient breaths with the help of an oxygen mask inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU) hospital in Moradabad Photo: AFP / Prakash SINGH