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Long-COVID and Cognition (third blog in our series on Long-COVID and Long-Term Disability Benefits)

In today’s blog on Long-COVID and the Fight for Long-Term Disability Benefits, we discuss the March 17, 2022 original research article published on COVID and Cognition, in “Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.” The March 17, 2022 article reported several concerning statistics about what Long-COVID sufferers deal with when it comes to cognition changes as a result of having suffered COVID-19, including that “[C]ognitive problems are one of the most commonly reported symptoms in those experiencing Long COVID.”

One aim of the researcher’s first publication was to characterize the “COVID and Cognition Study” sample. Within the COVID group, they found that 74% identified with the term “Long COVID.” The “COVID and Cognition Study” (“COVCOG”) also aims to understand the cognitive problems in Long COVID and is being completed as part of the larger research topic, “Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 infection (PASC): Implications for Geriatric and Neurological Care.”

The article reports, “The main finding from this first analysis is that the severity of initial illness is a significant predictor of the presence and severity of ongoing symptoms, and that some symptoms during the initial illness—particularly limb weakness—may be more common in those that have more severe ongoing symptoms. Symptom profiles can be well described in terms of 5 or 6 factors, reflecting the variety of this highly heterogenous condition experienced by the individual. Specifically, we found that neurological/psychiatric and fatigue/mixed symptoms during the initial illness, and that neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiopulmonary/fatigue symptoms during the ongoing illness, predicted experience of cognitive symptoms.”

As several researchers have found, and as was affirmed in the March 17, 2022 COVCOG research article, Long-COVID research has “[R]epeatedly identified cognitive dysfunction as one of the most common persistent symptoms (after fatigue), occurring in around 70% of patients [emphasis added] …Indeed, brain fog and difficulty concentrating are more common than cough is at many points in the Long COVID time course.” Further, a 2021 study showed the “brain fog, memory problems and speech and language problems were more commonly reported at week 8 and beyond than they were during initial infection. Furthermore, strenuous cognitive activity was found to be one of the most common triggers leading to relapse/exacerbation of existing symptoms (Davis et al., 2021; Ziauddeen et al., 2021).”

The COVCOG article went on to provide crucial, yet distressing, statistics about the negative impacts that COVID-19 and Long-hauler’s has on cognitive function and one’s ability to return to work. For example, the researchers found that, “…86% of participants indicated that cognitive dysfunction and/or memory impairment was impacting their ability to work, with nearly 30% reporting being “severely unable to work” and only 27% working as many hours as they had pre-COVID-19 (Davis et al., 2021). These figures suggest that the cognitive sequelae of COVID-19 have the potential for long-term consequences not just for individuals but also—given the prevalence of Long COVID—for the economy and wider society.”

If you are, or someone you know and love is suffering with cognitive deficits as a result of Long-hauler’s, we hope that this blog post helps to validate the reality of the symptoms and suffering that you and/or your loved ones are enduring.

COVID-19 has devastated lives of countless, but it should not devastate anyone’s life when they are seeking Short- or Long-Term Disability benefits. We encourage you to reach out for help if you have questions about, or have been denied, Short- or Long-Term Disability benefits for your Long-COVID symptoms and conditions. You are not alone and we are here to help. You should not have to fight for your disability benefits on your own. That is where Roberts Disability Law, P.C. may be able to help.

At Roberts Disability Law, P.C., our team focuses on ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974) appeals and litigation. If you or someone you know has made a claim for Long-Term Disability benefits based on long-COVID and it was denied, let us evaluate your case.


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*Please note that this blog is a summary of a reported legal decision and does not constitute legal advice. This blog has not been updated to note any subsequent change in status, including whether a decision is reconsidered or vacated. The case above was handled by other law firms, but if you have questions about how the developing law impacts your ERISA benefit claim, the attorneys at Roberts Disability Law, P.C. may be able to advise you so please contact us.

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