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J Neurol ; 270(4): 1823-1834, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2209336


Emerging evidence indicates that the etiologic agent responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), can cause neurological complications. COVID-19 may induce cognitive impairment through multiple mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to describe the possible neuropsychological and metabolic neuroimaging consequences of COVID-19 12 months after patients' hospital discharge. We retrospectively recruited 7 patients (age [mean ± SD] = 56 years ± 12.39, 4 men) who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 with persistent neuropsychological deficits 12 months after hospital discharge. All patients underwent cognitive assessment and brain (18F-FDG) PET/CT, and one also underwent 18F-amyloid PET/CT. Of the seven patients studied, four had normal glucose metabolism in the brain. Three patients showed various brain hypometabolism patterns: (1) unilateral left temporal mesial area hypometabolism; (2) pontine involvement; and (3) bilateral prefrontal area abnormalities with asymmetric parietal impairment. The patient who showed the most widespread glucose hypometabolism in the brain underwent an 18F-amyloid PET/CT to assess the presence of Aß plaques. This examination showed significant Aß deposition in the superior and middle frontal cortex, and in the posterior cingulate cortex extending mildly in the rostral and caudal anterior cingulate areas. Although some other reports have already suggested that brain hypometabolism may be associated with cognitive impairment at shorter intervals from SarsCov-2 infection, our study is the first to assess cognitive functions, brain metabolic activity and in a patient also amyloid PET one year after COVID-19, demonstrating that cerebral effects of COVID-19 can largely outlast the acute phase of the disease and even be followed by amyloid deposition.

Alzheimer Disease , COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Male , Humans , Middle Aged , Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain/metabolism , Positron-Emission Tomography/methods , Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/metabolism , Cognition , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnostic imaging , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/metabolism
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(9)2021 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390590


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected people's psychological well-being, and hospitalized patients could face an even greater risk of psychological distress. We aimed to study resilience in recovered COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge. We recruited 50 patients (38 males, aged 28-77) who were hospitalized for COVID-19 between March and April 2020. Participants underwent a psychological assessment 5 months after hospital discharge. We administered the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-25), Beck's Depression inventory-II (BDI-II), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Y-form (STAI). We also evaluated the impact of persisting physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms on resilience. Patients reported low resilience in the months following hospital discharge (CD-RISC-25 score [mean ± SD] = 55.82 ± 20.76), compared to data from studies on the general population. Lower resilience was associated with mood disturbances in the months following clinical recovery (p = 0.005), persisting fatigue (p = 0.015), sleep changes (p = 0.046), and subjective cognitive complaints (p < 0.05). Recovered COVID-19 patients exhibit low resilience following hospital discharge, which affects psychological well-being. The presence of persisting symptoms following hospital discharge affects psychological resilience. Interventions tailored to increase resilience should be considered to improve quality of life for recovered COVID-19 patients.

Brain Sci ; 11(2)2021 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085117


Considering the mechanisms capable of causing brain alterations in COVID-19, we aimed to study the occurrence of cognitive abnormalities in the months following hospital discharge. We recruited 38 (aged 22-74 years; 27 males) patients hospitalized for complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nonintensive COVID units. Participants underwent neuropsychological testing about 5 months after hospital discharge. Of all patients, 42.1% had processing speed deficits, while 26.3% showed delayed verbal recall deficits. Twenty-one percent presented with deficits in both processing speed and verbal memory. Bivariate analysis revealed a positive correlation between the lowest arterial oxygen partial pressure (PaO2) to fractional inspired oxygen (FiO2) (P/F) ratio during hospitalization and verbal memory consolidation performance (SRT-LTS score, r = 0.404, p = 0.027), as well as a positive correlation between SpO2 levels upon hospital arrival and delayed verbal recall performance (SRT-D score, rs = 0.373, p = 0.042). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) during hospitalization was associated with worse verbal memory performance (ARDS vs. no ARDS: SRT-LTS mean score = 30.63 ± 13.33 vs. 44.50 ± 13.16, p = 0.007; SRT-D mean score = 5.95 ± 2.56 vs. 8.10 ± 2.62, p = 0.029). Cognitive abnormalities can frequently be found in COVID-19 patients 5 months after hospital discharge. Increased fatigability, deficits of concentration and memory, and overall decreased cognitive speed months after hospital discharge can interfere with work and daily activities.

Front Psychiatry ; 11: 559266, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-937483


The first outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy was confirmed on February 21, 2020. Subsequently, COVID-19 turned into a global pandemic, causing a global health emergency, triggering an unprecedented event in the modern era. This study assessed the immediate psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on emotional health and well-being. An ad hoc questionnaire was designed for online completion to expedite data collection during the COVID-19 outbreak. People were invited to participate in the study via social media and email from 4 to 18 March 2020. The entire survey comprised of 21 questions, covering a wide range of factors, such as demographics, disease knowledge, psychological impact, daily life activities, and psychological precautionary measures. The main outcome measure was psychological impact. This was measured based on intensity and prevalence of self-reported feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and concern during the epidemic. In total, 10,025 respondents completed the online survey. Of these, about 73% were females, and 100% of the sample possessed good knowledge of the disease. The greatest prevalence of high psychological impact was reported in the <34 years' age group and in north Italy. Additionally, the psychological impact influenced important daily life activities, such as sexuality and nutrition. Our study provides information about the immediate psychological (emotional feelings) responses of Italy's general population to the COVID-19 epidemic. The survey covers several factors that can influence mental health; our results help gauge the psychological burden on the community and offer ways to minimize the impact.