Pandemic 'had lasting impact' on brain health of people aged 50 or over --UK study finds cognitive function and working memory in older adults declined even if they were not infected with virus | 1 Nov 2023 | The pandemic has caused sustained harm to the brain health of people aged 50 or over, rapidly speeding up cognitive decline regardless of whether or not they caught Covid, researchers have discovered. A study has found that cognitive function and working memory in older adults declined more quickly during the first year of the pandemic between March 2020 and February 2021, even if they were not infected with the virus. The trend continued into 2021-22, suggesting an impact beyond the initial lockdowns... The acceleration in cognitive decline has been exacerbated by a number of factors since the arrival of Covid, the researchers said. These included an increase in loneliness and depression, a fall in exercise and higher alcohol consumption, as well as the effects of the disease itself. The study, led by the University of Exeter and King's College London, was published in the Lancet Healthy Longevity journal.