Researchers from Vanderbilt Research University, together with Spanish medics, found that COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit suffered from brain dysfunction more often than patients with other respiratory diseases. This was reported by EurekAlert!
Brain dysfunction affects thousands of patients around the world who are treated in hospitals. It can manifest itself in different ways, from disorientation and inability to focus, as in delirium, to complete loss of consciousness, as in a coma.
Researchers have tracked the symptoms of brain dysfunction in more than two thousand patients who suffered a severe form of coronavirus in intensive care units.
On average, patients stayed in a state of brain dysfunction for 12 days each. In 82 percent of the patients observed, the comatose state lasted an average of ten days. Half of the subjects suffered from a state of disorientation for three days.
“These rates were twice as high as among ‘non-covid’ ICU patients,” said Brenda Pan, a researcher at Vanderbilt University.
It is noted that 88 percent of the study participants were hooked up to ventilators.
At the same time, in patients who communicated with family and friends at least through social networks, the risk of developing symptoms of brain dysfunction was lower by 30 percent.
According to scientists, brain dysfunction in COVID-19 patients may have been caused in part by the fact that they were aware of the deadly dangers of the infection.