Sleep difficulties are common post COVID, particularly in patients suffering from “Long COVID”. Sleep has a critical restorative function to remove toxins that cannot be removed whilst awake. It facilitates brain energy conservation, consolidation of memory and learning. Adequate good-quality sleep is crucial for optimal cognitive performance.
The complex interconnections of the brain mean that sleep disturbance interrupts optimal brain function in numerous domains. Disrupted sleep post COVID-19 may be a contributing cause of ongoing symptoms of Long COVID, may be a secondary consequence of a global neurological problems from COVID-19 or even related to mood disorders of the recovery period. It may also be a manifestation of ongoing immune disturbance from infection.
This research study aims to describe the sleep and brain disturbances post COVID, in particular the difference between those who recover or those who go on to develop Long COVID. It involves detailed cognitive testing over two to three visits. One visit for tests of memory and attention, and a brain MRI. The second visit is for sleep testing (an overnight stay and testing sleep the following day in a sleep lab). Usual daily activity level measurement will be measured by wearing a watch during your normal activities for seven days. Pre-COVID-19 data we have collected will be compared to long-COVID patients and those who have recovered from COVID-19.
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