Patient talks with her doctor in an exam room

What Is Neuropsychological Testing and Does it Help Prove Long Covid?

Neuropsychological tests can help determine what is going on when you are experiencing difficulties with focus or decision making.

These tests typically take place in a doctor’s office using no equipment other than a pencil and paper. However, sometimes doctors perform these tests using computers or by asking a number of questions for you to answer.

In a nutshell, neurology measures the health of your brain and how it impacts your ability to think and behave.

Long Covid and Neurological Conditions

The symptoms of Long Covid can be very difficult to live with. Some of the most prominent symptoms people with Long Covid report include:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

However, there is a slew of issues patients with Long Covid suffer from, including (but not limited to):

  • Digestive problems
  • Night sweats
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Headache
  • Symptoms that worsen after rigorous exercise or mental activities

Unfortunately, experts have found that even months after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, many people continue to struggle with memory issues, mental fog, and changes in their overall mood. One reason for this is that Covid has the potential to cause long-term damage to the brain.

In fact, about 13% of people hospitalized for Covid developed a new neurological condition shortly after becoming infected. Six months later, about half of the patients with a new neurological condition were still experiencing cognitive difficulties.

Neuropsychological Testing to Prove Long Covid

Neuropsychological tests allow your physician to measure your attention span as well as your ability to concentrate. In addition, these tests also measure the following:

  • How well you can think, understand, learn, and remember (cognition)
  • Memory
  • Motor function
  • Perception
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Verbal ability

If you have cognitive difficulties as a result of Long Covid, neuropsychological testing can help prove the symptoms you are experiencing are valid so you can qualify for the long-term disability benefits you need.

In fact, studies show that people recovering from Covid suffer from mild-to-moderate cognitive deficits that are similar to those exhibited in patients recovering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Research has shown that about 70% of ARDS survivors experienced a deficit of attention, speed of reasoning, and executive functions. Similarly, 12% were deemed to have post-intensive care unit (ICU) cognitive disruptions, but it has been surmised this estimation is likely far lower than the true rate.

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