Anosmia, the complete loss of smell which was quickly recognised as one of the key symptoms of coronavirus infection after the pandemic began last year, is expected to last for at least 365 years even in COVID-19 survivors. Researchers from the University Hospitals of Strasbourg in France said in a study published the results Thursday in JAMA Network Open after following 97 patients of COVID-19 who lost their sense of taste and smell for an entire year. The researchers noted that one of the two patients who had not recovered was able to smell but abnormally. However, others were still not able to smell by the end of the study.
Further 46 COVID-19 patients did not undergo any objective testing but they reported to have fully recovered after an entire year. Researchers wrote, “Our findings suggest that an additional 10% gain in recovery can be expected at 12 months, compared with studies with 6 months of follow-up that found only 85.9% of patients with recovery. This supports findings from fundamental animal research, involving both imaging studies and postmortem pathology, suggesting that COVID-19–related anosmia is likely due to peripheral inflammation.”
“We also confirmed that discrepancies exist between self-assessed and objective testing, whereby participants tend to underappreciate the return of normosmia. This highlights the importance of applying both methods for postviral olfactory disorder evaluation,” they added.
Meanwhile, apart from widely reported aftereffects of COVID-19 infection including loss of senses of taste and smell, ‘brain fog’, UK study has now found out that patients who recovered even from mild or moderate infection were seen have suffered some loss of grey matter in the areas that monitor cognitive skills, memory-making, sensory functions.
For the research paper recently uploaded to preprint server medRxiv by Prof. Gwenaëlle Douaud, participants who had taken part in a previous brain study before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were reportedly invited back for a series of follow-up tests. The analysis revealed significant losses of grey matter surrounding the olfactory and gustatory systems in the parts that had been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).