Fatigue and neurological impairment in long-haul COVID-19

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Emerging aspects of the COVID-19 clinical presentation are its long-term effects, which are characteristic of the so-called “long-haul COVID”. Long-haul COVID-19 was defined as symptoms persisting for more than 6 weeks, with the consensus that most patients fully recover from COVID-19 in 4 to 6 weeks.
Many COVID-19 "long haulers" experience at least four lingering neurological symptoms, such as brain fog, headache and the loss of sense of smell or taste, even if they were never hospitalized for their initial illness. Overall, 85% of participants reported at least four neurological symptoms. The most common symptom was "brain fog" or trouble thinking, reported by 81% of participants; followed by headaches, reported by 68%; and numbness or tingling, reported by 60% of participants. More than half reported problems with their sense of taste or smell; 47% reported dizziness; 30% reported blurred vision; and 29% reported ringing in the ears.
Other common, but not neurological, symptoms included fatigue, depression and anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal symptoms. In many patients, their symptoms fluctuated, or came and went, for months. When they were asked how much they felt they had recovered to their pre-COVID-19 level, on average, patients said they felt only 64% recovered after about five months.
As COVID-19 causes ME/CFS-relevant symptoms in patients and this increases the need for monitoring of patients for even longer after recovering from COVID-19’s symptoms, in order to prevent complications and the progression of chronic diseases. The similarity and overlap of ME/CFS and long-haul COVID19 symptoms suggest possibility of similar pathological processes.
Period15 Sept 202117 Sept 2021
Event titleXXVIII Congress of Polish Physiological Society
Event typeCongress
Conference numberXXVIII
LocationGdansk, PolandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational