Preprint Covid-19 related cognitive, structural and functional brain changes among Italian adolescents and young adults: a multimodal longitudinal case-control

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  1. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Covid-19 related cognitive, structural and functional brain changes among Italian adolescents and young adults: a multimodal longitudinal case-control study
    Azzurra Invernizzi; Stefano Renzetti; Christoph van Thriel; Elza Rechtman; Alessandra Patrono; Claudia Ambrosi; Lorella Mascaro; Giuseppa Cagna; Roberto Gasparotti; Abraham Reichenberg; Cheuk Y. Tang; Roberto G. Lucchini; Robert O. Wright; Donatella Placidi; Megan Horton

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been associated with brain functional, structural, and cognitive changes that persist months after infection. Most studies of the neurologic outcomes related to COVID-19 focus on severe infection and aging populations.

    Here, we investigated the neural activities underlying COVID-19 related outcomes in a case-control study of mildly infected youth enrolled in a longitudinal study in Lombardy, Italy, a global hotspot of COVID-19. All participants (13 cases, 27 controls, mean age 24 years) completed resting state functional (fMRI), structural MRI, cognitive assessments (CANTAB spatial working memory) at baseline (pre-COVID) and follow-up (post-COVID). Using graph theory eigenvector centrality (EC) and data-driven statistical methods, we examined differences in ECdelta (i.e., the difference in EC values pre and post-COVID-19) and volumetricdelta (i.e., the difference in cortical volume of cortical and subcortical areas pre and post-COVID) between COVID-19 cases and controls.

    We found that ECdelta significantly between COVID-19 and healthy participants in five brain regions; right intracalcarine cortex, right lingual gyrus, left hippocampus, left amygdala, left frontal orbital cortex. The left hippocampus showed a significant decrease in volumetricdelta between groups (p=0.041). The reduced ECdelta in the right amygdala associated with COVID-19 status mediated the association between COVID-19 and disrupted spatial working memory.

    Our results show persistent structural, functional and cognitive brain changes in key brain areas associated with olfaction and cognition. These results may guide treatment efforts to assess the longevity, reversibility and impact of the observed brain and cognitive changes following COVID-19.

    Link | PDF (Preprint: MedRxiv)
     
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  2. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    EndME, Sean, Michelle and 3 others like this.

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