Edinburgh Long Covid Study

Part of a UK wide collaboration with clinicians and academics from around the United Kingdom.


  • Cognitive disorders

Project type

  • Understanding the condition

About the project

People with Long Covid have described experiencing cognitive problems, including problems with memory, concentration, and judgement.

The aim of this study is to explain cognitive impairment in Long Covid and to find out whether the cognitive impairment is associated with an underlying condition. This can help doctors to prescribe the right treatment.

Project team

The project is led by Professor Alan Carson.

University of Edinburgh team members are Laura McWhirter, Nadine Cosette, David Gillespie, Alison Green, David Hunt, Craig Ritchie, Jon Stone, Joanna Wardlaw, Catherine Pennington, and Siddharthan Chandran.

Where and when?

The Edinburgh Long Covid Study will take place at the Anne Rowling Clinic. Participants will be recruited from the Lothian area.

Participation is by referral only; please do not contact us to ask to join the study as we will be unable to enrol you.

What is involved in taking part?

If a recruiting GP believes that a patient is suitable for the research project they will refer the patient to The Edinburgh Long Covid Study research team.

A member of the research team will contact the potential participant to explain the study to them and will send them a copy of the participant information sheet. If the potential participant is willing to take part in the study an appointment will be arranged for them to attend the Anne Rowling Clinic. You can download a copy of the participant information sheet here.

At the research appointment, the participant will be asked to give their consent to take part in the study and will complete a series of assessments and questionnaires with a research assistant. All participants will have a blood test taken and undergo a structured clinical assessment by a consultant neuropsychiatrist. Participants may also be asked to undergo a brain MRI scan, lumbar puncture, and additional study investigations where clinically relevant.

Risks and benefits

It is not believed that there are any risks to taking part in this research. Participants will be required to undergo clinical assessments and tests which may be considered to be tiring or anxiety-provoking. Participation in this research is only for those who wish to undergo such a thorough clinical assessment. The state-of-the-art clinical assessment offered as part of the study would otherwise be unavailable and so it is possible that these assessments may lead to participants receiving a new diagnosis and enable access to targeted treatments.


I have Long Covid, can I volunteer to take part in this research?

Unfortunately, we are unable to sign up volunteers who contact the research team.

Why can't I volunteer to be a participant in this research?

To become a participant in this research project, you must be referred by a GP within the appropriate catchment area. This is to make sure that you meet the research eligibility criteria and are able to attend clinical assessments.

What will happen if I receive a new diagnosis as a result of taking part in this research?

All participants will remain under the care of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh until they have been triaged on to the appropriate service dependent on findings from their clinical assessment and test results.

Where can I get more information about Long Covid?

NHS provided 'Your COVID recovery': www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk

Patient support organisations:  www.longcovidsos.org




Recruiting now


Professor Alan Carson

Eligibility criteria

Participation is by GP referral only.

Recruitment criteria are correct at the time of publishing.

Participants will be considered suitable for this research project if:

  • They are aged 18 or over.
  • They have a history of laboratory-confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection and a clinical diagnosis according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for COVID-19.
  • They have reported or observed cognitive symptoms persisting at least three months after COVID-19.

Exclusion criteria include:

  • If the participant is unable to give informed consent.
  • They have serious psychiatric comorbidity.
  • There is evidence or strong clinical suspicion of factitious disorder.

Other exclusion criteria apply.