Patients report more concentration and memory issues post Covid


Family doctors have reported a 24% rise in complaints about memory and concentration problems in the first quarter of 2023, when compared with the same period in 2020, public health agency RIVM said on Wednesday.

The figures show the biggest increase comes from people aged 45 to 74, where reports have gone up 40%. There has been no increase in memory problems among the under-25s. 

“The fact that adults have more memory and concentration problems would appear to be a long-term effect stemming from both the coronavirus measures and coronavirus infections, the RIVM said.

For example, the coronavirus measures may have led to a quicker decline in cognitive skills among people who were already beginning to experience problems, the RIVM said. 

For example, Alzheimer researchers at the Amsterdam university medical centre have noticed a pattern they expected to occur at the beginning of the coronavirus period; namely, an increasing group of people suffering from mild memory and concentration complaints, the RIVM said. 

“An additional explanation is that a proportion of people maintain long-term symptoms after a Covid-19 infection,” the report said.

Although flu can also cause these problems, the issue appears to be more common after coronavirus. In addition, the agency said, these complaints are more common in higher age groups, in line with the signals identified by family doctors.

The figures come from the 7th edition of a quarterly survey of first-line treatment based on a wide variety of sources and commissioned by the health ministry.

The AD reported last month that doctors and patients are calling for a national action plan to improve what they consider the failing treatment of Long Covid patients in the Netherlands.

Research into Long Covid is fractured and underfunded, and treatment is dependent on the individual efforts of doctors or hospitals, doctors and patient organisations told the paper.

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