The Impact of COVID-19 on Auditory and Visual Choice Reaction Time of Non-hospitalized Patients: An Observational Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, India

2 Consultant Physician, St. Joseph Hospital, Dindigul, India


Background and aim: COVID-19 is a multi-system infectious disease. There is accumulating evidence showing the damage caused by the virus on a nervous system other than the lungs. It is still unknown whether this Central nervous system (CNS) complications are reversible. Reaction time indicates neuronal activity, and an increase in RT denotes defective neural function. Hence the present study was done to measure the impact of COVID-19 on auditory and visual reaction time during COVID-19 disease, four and eight weeks after recovery.
Material and methods: ART and VRT were measured using discriminatory and choice reaction time apparatus. Results were analyzed using an unpaired t-test. The study involved 86 participants of both genders aged 21-40. Forty-six were acute, mild COVID-19 positive patients and 40 were healthy (control) subjects.
Results: During COVID-19 disease, a statistically significant increase in visual reaction time (VRT) values for both green and red colours (p<0.001) and ART (p<0.001) were observed in the study group when compared with the control group. After 4 weeks of recovery, a significant increase in VRT (p<0.05) for both the colours and ART (p<0.05) were observed compared with control, but the values were lesser when compared with during COVID-19 disease in the study group. After 8 weeks, no statistically significant difference (p>0.2) was observed between both groups. No gender difference was detected.
Conclusions: Increased RT values indicate that COVID-19 affects the nervous system. The decline in RT values after 4 weeks and normal values after 8 weeks of recovery shows improvement in nerve function.


Main Subjects

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