A non-peer-reviewed study helmed by Imperial College London doctor Adam Hampshire has found that severe COVID-19 cases may be linked to mental decline equivalent to a decade's worth of brain aging.

Hampshire's group of researchers took a deep dive into results from 84,285 people who had participated in a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. Among the findings, which Reuters pointed out in its report have not yet been reviewed by outside experts, were that people who had been hospitalized due to COVID-19 showed substantial cognitive deficits. The worst of the cases, meanwhile, showed cognitive impacts comparable to the "average 10-year decline in global performance between the ages of 20 to 70."

And while experts who were not part of this effort—including University College London professor Derek Hill, who specializes in medical imaging science—cautioned that the study (among other things) did not delve into whether these reported effects could be short term, it stands as what Hill conceded is an "intriguing but inconclusive" bit of research.

The potential mental effects of a COVID-19 infection have remained a troubling aspect of the pandemic era, with some having reported experiencing often serious instances of brain fog or similar conditions extending well into the post-recovery period.

Despite continued public claims from Trump, including at a recent Nebraska rally that ended with attendees being stuck in the cold, the U.S. is not rounding the corner on the pandemic. More than 225,000 deaths have been confirmed by the CDC, whose most recent stats update also includes confirmation of more than 8.6 million total cases.

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