NewsHealthLong Covid, the immunologist: "Neurocognitive after-effects are worrying"

Long Covid, the immunologist: “Neurocognitive after-effects are worrying”

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“The problem of post Covid exists and we also detect it in Italy. We have many sequelae after some time from infection and hospitalization, but not in the percentages observed by the study, conducted in China, at least as regards the aftermath in particular On the other hand, we note the neuropsychiatric manifestations of Long Covid in a fairly important way. Insomnia, anxiety and even depressive manifestations: those are still quite persistent “. To draw the picture at Adnkronos Salute is Patrizia Rovere Querini, immunologist, head of the Covid-19 hot spot of the Irccs San Raffaele Hospital in Milan who looks at the results of a Chinese study published in ‘The Lancet Respiratory Medicine’, the survey with the longest follow-up conducted so far, which also showed the persistence of at least one symptom in 55% of former Covid-19 patients even after 2 years. “The two series, Italian and Chinese, cannot be easily compared because the populations are different: we have older and more overweight patients, they have younger and in a male-female ratio with more women. However, among our patients, 70% of our patients were already well at 6 months, had had a good recovery. We then had 20% with still mild dyspnea and alterations, and another 10% with more important manifestations. our analysis was compelling because we invited everyone to check up and there are not a few patients we have seen, about 500 who had been hospitalized “. The manifestations of Long Covid “more on the neurocognitive front are prevalent in the long term – explains Rovere Querini – Syndromes such as cognitive fog above all, to give an example. In this case these manifestations persist in 30% of the population, after one year . The cognitive fog has often ended up in the spotlight for the stories of those who have lived it. And this expression of the Long Covid, the neurocognitive part, warns the expert, “is independent of gravity. Since our clinic was opened “also to outpatients who had not been hospitalized in the facility,” many patients who have had mild Covid, treated at home, have also arrived with this syndrome. Many are young, aged 25-30 and up. In our series, these manifestations are a little more prevalent in women, who in the end had a less severe Covid than men. Here, it is this aspect of the post Covid that strikes me and worries me the most: that prevents the patient, even when young, from returning to his previous personal and working life “.” I have had patients – continues Rovere Querini – who also had a lot of jobs challenging and now having a hard time regaining their position in the world. People who have to change jobs for one with less responsibility or who continue to do their job with difficulty. “Like a managerial woman who held a thousand meetings a day, very successful and always dynamic:” She had to hire a secretary because after Covid all ‘exiting the meetings he could no longer even remember what he had decided. She went on like this for a semester. This is the cognitive fog, it is difficult to understand how invalidating it can be if you do not live it. “It means talking on the phone and when the conversation is closed, not remembering what you said to each other. It means” proofreading manuscripts for a living and suddenly no longer able to evaluate them, because the words are no longer evocative as before “. Everything slows down, everything is more difficult. And anyone could potentially be exposed to this type of problem, confirms the specialist.” the feeling that vaccinated patients with milder forms are completely free from these sequelae “, he observes. This lack of clarity can last weeks, but even months. And it is” treatable, with exceptions that require more follow-up long. Not all forms are mild, in some cases cognitive therapy and other treatments must be done. There are exercises that are used to rehabilitate the patient, which according to our psychiatrists are also very effective. But it is important to talk about it, we need awareness at the level of society and give people time to heal. “Everyone, even in the world of work, must know that the problem exists and that it can take time for it to pass.” Patients need to be treated. may have time. And that it is clear that it does not depend on how serious the Covid has been. In my opinion, we need to deploy health resources so that these people can have access to all the treatments they need. I do not think there are still many Long Covid clinics where there is the possibility of having a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and the necessary figures, managed with the national health system. This aspect should perhaps be strengthened, because patients are truly happy when they are followed in this healing process, even by psychiatrists who can assist and calm them. The system has made exemptions, it has put benefits, but perhaps it has not watched over the creation of the necessary structures. We seem to miss a little, that there is a significant demand “.

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