Mental problems affecting concentration levels, along with forgetfulness and fatigue, are a feature of prolonged COVID-19, a condition that affects some people after an initial bout of infection, but the prevalence of attention-related problems after COVID-19 has not been established.
In the study, participants who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, but who did not display other classic symptoms of long COVID-19, were asked to complete exercises to test their memory and mental abilities.
The researchers found that participants were significantly worse at remembering personal experiences, known as episodic memory, for up to six months after injury.
They also experienced a greater decline in their ability to maintain attention over time, compared to the non-injured until nine months after injury.
Over time, the researchers said, individuals showed that episodic memory and attention span largely returned to normal after six and nine months, respectively.
Participants also performed well on tests of other mental abilities, including working memory and planning, in the analysis of 136 participants.