UCLA researchers find possible link between self-perceived cognition deficits and symptomatic long COVID

People who perceived that they had cognitive difficulties such as memory problems during COVID were more likely to have lingering physical manifestations of the disease than people who did not report cognitive issues, new UCLA research suggests.

More than one-third of people experiencing long COVID symptoms perceived such cognitive deficits, which have been found to be related to anxiety and depression.

The findings indicate that psychological issues such as anxiety or depressive disorders may play a part in some people who are experiencing long COVID, technically known as post-COVID-19 condition, or PCC.

“This perception of cognitive deficits suggests that affective issues – in this case anxiety and depression -- appear to carry over into the long COVID period,” said senior author Dr. Neil Wenger, professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “This is not to say that long COVID is all in one’s head, but that it is likely not a single condition and that for some proportion of patients there is likely a component of anxiety or depression that is exacerbated by the disease.”

The study is published in JAMA Network Open.

Read the full UCLA press release.

CTSI supported this research through biostatistician Myung Shin Sim, who provided statistical support for the study.

Image source: Getty Images