COVID Infections May Lead to Drop in IQ, New Study Shows

A new study found that COVID-19 infections, as well as long COVID, can cause a drop cognitive abilities. Individuals with long COVID – a post-COVID disease characterized by a variety of persistent symptoms – scored 6 IQ points lower on average than those who were never infected. People who had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit had a 9 point difference in IQ. Those who had who recovered from COVID-19 and did not have long COVID scored 3 points below study participants who never had COVID-19. Multiple COVID-19 infections resulted in a 2-point drop in IQ. Specifically, these individuals performed worse in memory, planning and a variety of executive functioning abilities. This study builds on an increasingly large body of evidence that demonstrates the many ways that COVID-19, and long COVID, can damage the brain.