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1.
International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking ; 12(6):785-817, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2140766

ABSTRACT

Fantasy gamers have seen a type of coexistence and symbiotic relations with NFL fandom, even in sight of the COVID-19 pandemic and unstable NFL contest schedules. Based on a sample of highly active and self-identifies fantasy gamers, some of these complex interactions were examined in the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area on a number of demographic and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation variables derived primarily from the uses and gratification theory. Younger fantasy players were not more active than their slightly older counterparts, which may point to a stable/rich fan base for both forms of football. As expected, males had significantly higher levels of participation and more confidence in their skill level;this was especially true in fantasy gamers favouring NFL engagement when fantasy football players appear on the roster of their favourite NFL teams. Higher levels of fandom and satisfaction for the NFL were found to coexist with higher levels of fantasy gaming. Copyright © 2022 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

2.
Neurol Res Pract ; 4(1): 53, 2022 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098476

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have indicated that long-term neurological sequelae after COVID-19 are not accompanied by an increase of canonical biomarkers of central nervous system injury in blood, but subgroup stratifications are lacking. This is a particular concern in chronic headache, which can be a leading symptom of Post-COVID diseases associated with neuronal damage such as vasculitis or autoimmune encephalitis. We here compared patients with mild Post-COVID-19 syndrome and persistent headache (persistent Post-COVID-19 headache) lasting longer than 12 weeks after the initial serological diagnosis, to patients with mild and severe COVID-19 and COVID-19-negative controls. Levels of neurofilament light chain and glial fibrillary astrocytic protein, i.e. markers of neuronal damage and reactive astrogliosis, were lower in blood from patients with persistent Post-COVID-19 headache compared to patients with severe COVID-19. Hence, our pilot serological study indicates that long-term Post-COVID-19 headache may not be a sign of underlying neuronal damage or neuroinflammation.

3.
Cells ; 11(16)2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2032864

ABSTRACT

Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a specific biomarker of neuro-axonal damage. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent enzymes involved in blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity. We explored neuro-axonal damage, alteration of BBB integrity and SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence in COVID-19 patients with severe neurological symptoms (neuro-COVID) as well as neuro-axonal damage in COVID-19 patients without severe neurological symptoms according to disease severity and after recovery, comparing the obtained findings with healthy donors (HD). Overall, COVID-19 patients (n = 55) showed higher plasma NfL levels compared to HD (n = 31) (p < 0.0001), especially those who developed ARDS (n = 28) (p = 0.0005). After recovery, plasma NfL levels were still higher in ARDS patients compared to HD (p = 0.0037). In neuro-COVID patients (n = 12), higher CSF and plasma NfL, and CSF MMP-2 levels in ARDS than non-ARDS group were observed (p = 0.0357, p = 0.0346 and p = 0.0303, respectively). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in four CSF and two plasma samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection was not associated to increased CSF NfL and MMP levels. During COVID-19, ARDS could be associated to CNS damage and alteration of BBB integrity in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in CSF or blood. CNS damage was still detectable after discharge in blood of COVID-19 patients who developed ARDS during hospitalization.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19 , Axons , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Front Neurol ; 13: 929480, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022805

ABSTRACT

Introduction: By the end of 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 rapidly spread all over the world impacting mental health and sleep habits. Insomnia, impaired sleep quality, and circadian rhythm alterations were all observed during the pandemic, especially among healthcare workers and in patients with acute and post-acute COVID-19. Sleep disruption may induce a pro-inflammatory state associated with an impairment of immune system function. Objective: We investigated the relationship between sleep alterations, psychological disorders, and inflammatory blood biomarkers in patients with post-acute COVID-19. Methods: We enrolled 47 subjects diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia at Santa Maria della Misericordia University Hospital (Udine, Italy) between March and May 2020. Selected patients were evaluated at 2 months (T1) and 10 months (T2) after discharge. Each time, we collected clinical interviews, neurological examinations, and self-administered questionnaires to assess sleep and life quality, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Blood biomarkers of endothelial activation, neuroinflammation, and inflammatory cytokines were also measured at each follow-up. Collected variables were analyzed using comparisons between groups and linear regression models. Results: Prevalence of insomnia increased from 10.6% up to 27.3% after COVID-19. Poor sleep quality was found in 41.5% of patients at both study visits. At T1 follow-up, poor sleepers showed higher levels of neurofilament light chain, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, and interleukin 10; no significant associations were found between sleep quality and psychological disorders. At T2 follow-up, lower sleep quality was associated with higher levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and interleukin 8, but also with higher scores for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Conclusion: Our results suggest an association of poor sleep quality with both psychological disorders and neuroinflammation, although at different times, in previously hospitalized patients with moderate-to-critical COVID-19.

5.
J Neurol ; 269(11): 5691-5701, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1971703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased serum levels of neurofilament light chain (sNFL), a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage, have been reported in patients with Covid-19. We aimed at investigating whether sNFL is increased in Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations, is associated with disease severity, respiratory and routine blood parameters, and changes longitudinally in the short term. METHODS: sNFL levels were measured with single molecule array (Simoa) technology in 57 hospitalized Covid-19 patients without major neurological manifestations and in 30 neurologically healthy controls. Patients were evaluated for PaO2/FiO2 ratio on arterial blood gas, Brescia Respiratory Covid Severity Scale (BRCSS), white blood cell counts, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), plasma D-dimer, plasma fibrinogen, and serum creatinine at admission. In 20 patients, NFL was also measured on serum samples obtained at a later timepoint during the hospital stay. RESULTS: Covid-19 patients had higher baseline sNFL levels compared to controls, regardless of disease severity. Baseline sNFL correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer in patients with mild disease, but was not associated with measures of respiratory impairment. Longitudinal sNFL levels tended to be higher than baseline ones, albeit not significantly, and correlated with serum CRP and plasma D-dimer. The PaO2/FiO2 ratio was not associated with longitudinal sNFL, whereas BRCSS only correlated with longitudinal sNFL variation. CONCLUSIONS: We provide neurochemical evidence of subclinical axonal damage in Covid-19 also in the absence of major neurological manifestations. This is apparently not fully explained by hypoxic injury; rather, systemic inflammation might promote this damage. However, a direct neurotoxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 cannot be excluded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein , COVID-19/complications , Creatinine , Fibrinogen , Humans , Intermediate Filaments , Neurofilament Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Orthop J Sports Med ; 10(6): 23259671221098749, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938263

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) preseason and a decreased preseason roster size. The effect of this disruption on athlete injury rates is unknown. Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose was to quantify the rates of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Achilles tendon, and hamstring tendon injuries in NFL players before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized that injury rates in the 2020 season would be higher than those seen prepandemic. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Level of evidence, 4. Methods: An online search using publicly available data was carried out to identify all NFL players who sustained an ACL, Achilles tendon, or hamstring tendon injury between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2021. Data collected included player characteristics as well as career and season of injury workloads. Results: The number of Achilles tendon (27 vs 20; P = .024) and hamstring tendon (186 vs 149; P < .001) injuries, respectively, in the 2020 NFL season were significantly higher than the average of the 2017 to 2019 seasons. However, the number of ACL injuries sustained remained constant (43 vs 46; P = .175). More than half (52.9%) of ACL injuries in the 2017 to 2019 seasons occurred in the preseason, while most of the injuries (34.9%) in the 2020 season occurred in weeks 1 to 4. There was no player characteristic or career workload variable collected that was significantly different for players who sustained an ACL, Achilles tendon, or hamstring tendon injury in the 2020 NFL season compared with the 2017 to 2019 seasons. Conclusion: In the 2020 NFL season, the number of Achilles tendon and hamstring tendon injuries rose while the number of ACL injuries remained constant compared with the 2017 to 2019 seasons. Injuries that occurred during the first 4 games of the 2020 NFL season were consistent, with higher rates of injuries seen in the preseason in previous years.

7.
Phys Sportsmed ; : 1-6, 2022 Jan 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625464

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To quantify levels of potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 surrounding a typical professional American football game, with a focus on interactions on-field between teammates and opposing players before, during, and immediately after competition. METHODS: We examined across-Club consecutive interactions ≥2 minutes within 6 feet [1.8 meters] between athletes on opposing Clubs for all 2020 NFL regular season games (n = 256). Cumulative interaction was measured for a representative subset (n = 119; 46%) of games. Wearable proximity tracking devices (Kinexon) were used to measure distance and duration of interactions; these data were combined with game schedule and Club rosters for analyses. Frequency and per-game mean, median, interquartile range for consecutive interactions ≥2/≥5 minutes and cumulative interactions ≥5/≥15 were described overall and stratified by pre-game, in-game, and post-game. RESULTS: Of the 1964 distinct player-to-opponent contacts ≥2 minutes in NFL regular season games, the majority (n = 1,699; 87%) were fewer than 5 minutes in consecutive length. Among the mean 7.7 distinct contacts ≥2 minutes with opponents each game (median = 4; IQR = 2, 8), very few were ≥5 consecutive minutes at any point (mean = 1.0; median = 0; IQR = 0, 0). Most (n = 849; 43.2%) distinct contacts were pre-game, 546 (27.8%) were during competition, and 569 (29%) were post-game. In games where cumulative interactions were analyzed, there was an average of 17.1 player/opponent interactions with cumulative exposure ≥5 minutes (median = 12; IQR = 4, 30), almost all of which occurred during competition. CONCLUSION: There is limited and short contact between and among competing players in professional American football. In the setting of infectious disease such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a robust prevention program integrating masking, distancing, hygiene, and ventilation when off-field can be created to minimize on- and off-field exposures, which effectively reduces transmission risk in outdoors and/or well-ventilated stadium settings.

8.
Brain Commun ; 3(3): fcab099, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358433

ABSTRACT

Preliminary pathological and biomarker data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection can damage the nervous system. To understand what, where and how damage occurs, we collected serum and CSF from patients with COVID-19 and characterized neurological syndromes involving the PNS and CNS (n = 34). We measured biomarkers of neuronal damage and neuroinflammation, and compared these with non-neurological control groups, which included patients with (n = 94) and without (n = 24) COVID-19. We detected increased concentrations of neurofilament light, a dynamic biomarker of neuronal damage, in the CSF of those with CNS inflammation (encephalitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) [14 800 pg/ml (400, 32 400)], compared to those with encephalopathy [1410 pg/ml (756, 1446)], peripheral syndromes (Guillain-Barré syndrome) [740 pg/ml (507, 881)] and controls [872 pg/ml (654, 1200)]. Serum neurofilament light levels were elevated across patients hospitalized with COVID-19, irrespective of neurological manifestations. There was not the usual close correlation between CSF and serum neurofilament light, suggesting serum neurofilament light elevation in the non-neurological patients may reflect peripheral nerve damage in response to severe illness. We did not find significantly elevated levels of serum neurofilament light in community cases of COVID-19 arguing against significant neurological damage. Glial fibrillary acidic protein, a marker of astrocytic activation, was not elevated in the CSF or serum of any group, suggesting astrocytic activation is not a major mediator of neuronal damage in COVID-19.

9.
Immunol Res ; 69(6): 553-557, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345196

ABSTRACT

The persistence of neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the presence of late axonal damage, is still unknown. We performed extensive systemic and neurological follow-up evaluations in 107 out of 193 consecutive patients admitted to the COVID-19 medical unit, University Hospital of Verona, Italy between March and June 2020. We analysed serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in all cases including a subgroup (n = 29) of patients with available onset samples. Comparisons between clinical and biomarker data were then performed. Neurological symptoms were still present in a significant number (n = 49) of patients over the follow-up. The most common reported symptoms were hyposmia (n = 11), fatigue (n = 28), myalgia (n = 14), and impaired memory (n = 11) and were more common in cases with severe acute COVID-19. Follow-up serum NfL values (15.2 pg/mL, range 2.4-62.4) were within normal range in all except 5 patients and did not differentiate patients with vs without persistent neurological symptoms. In patients with available onset and follow-up samples, a significant (p < 0.001) decrease of NfL levels was observed and was more evident in patients with a severe acute disease. Despite the common persistence of neurological symptoms, COVID-19 survivors do not show active axonal damage, which seems a peculiar feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Axons/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/pathology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/pathology , Anosmia/virology , Axons/virology , Disease Progression , Fatigue/pathology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Memory Disorders/pathology , Memory Disorders/virology , Middle Aged , Myalgia/pathology , Myalgia/virology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2
10.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103512, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We sought to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analysed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15). FINDINGS: One hundred patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 were followed for a median (IQR) of 225 (187-262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0·001), and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0·001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0·05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0·53, p < 0·001) and GFAp (r = 0·39, p < 0·001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly fatigue (n = 40), "brain-fog" (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no correlation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase. INTERPRETATION: The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicates that post COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury. FUNDING: The Swedish State Support for Clinical Research, SciLifeLab Sweden, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have provided funding for this project.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Astrocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Progression , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/metabolism , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Sweden
11.
Clin Neurophysiol ; 132(7): 1733-1740, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163547

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to characterize the electrophysiological features and plasma biomarkers of critical illness polyneuropathy (CIN) and myopathy (CIM) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW). METHODS: An observational ICU cohort study including adult patients admitted to the ICU at Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, from March 13th to June 8th 2020. We compared the clinical, electrophysiological and plasma biomarker data between COVID-19 patients who developed CIN/CIM and those who did not. Electrophysiological characteristics were also compared between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ICU patients. RESULTS: 111 COVID-19 patients were included, 11 of whom developed CIN/CIM. Patients with CIN/CIM had more severe illness; longer ICU stay, more thromboembolic events and were more frequently treated with invasive ventilation for longer than 2 weeks. In particular CIN was more frequent among COVID-19 patients with ICUAW (50%) compared with a non-COVID-19 cohort (0%, p = 0.008). Neurofilament light chain (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp) levels were higher in the CIN/CIM group compared with those that did not develop CIN/CIM (both p = 0.001) and correlated with nerve amplitudes. CONCLUSIONS: CIN/CIM was more prevalent among COVID-19 ICU patients with severe illness. SIGNIFICANCE: COVID-19 patients who later developed CIN/CIM had significantly higher NfL and GFAp in the early phase of ICU care, suggesting their potential as predictive biomarkers for CIN/CIM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Muscular Diseases/etiology , Polyneuropathies/etiology , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Muscle Weakness/etiology , Muscular Diseases/blood , Muscular Diseases/physiopathology , Polyneuropathies/blood , Polyneuropathies/physiopathology , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Thromboembolism/etiology
12.
Ann Biol Clin (Paris) ; 79(1): 7-16, 2021 02 01.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079401

ABSTRACT

Soon after the pandemic, numerous publications described cases of neurological disorders associated with the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The range of neurological symptoms is becoming increasingly more extensive as the pandemic progresses. However, it is not yet well established whether the manifestations are due to direct viral damage to the nervous system or indirect consequences of the infection. This review presents an inventory of the biochemical markers studied in the context of neurological disorders related to SARS-CoV-2. By reflecting various physiopathological mechanisms, these biomarkers allow both a better understanding of the pathophysiology of Covid-19 and a contribution to the diagnosis of neurologic troubles; they could participate in the prognostic evaluation of patients.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Progression , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Pandemics , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis
13.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3324-3331, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035403

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological symptoms have been frequently reported in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and biomarkers of central nervous system (CNS) injury are reported to be increased in plasma but not extensively studied in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This study examined CSF for biomarkers of CNS injury and other pathology in relation to neurological symptoms and disease severity in patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19. METHODS: Nineteen patients with neurological symptoms and mild to critical COVID-19 were prospectively included. Extensive analysis of CSF, including measurement of biomarkers of CNS injury (neurofilament light chain [NfL] protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAp], and total tau), was performed and compared to neurological features and disease severity. RESULTS: Neurological symptoms included altered mental status (42%), headache (42%), and central (21%) and peripheral weakness (32%). Two patients demonstrated minor pleocytosis, and four patients had increased immunoglobulin G levels in CSF. Neuronal autoantibody testing using commercial tests was negative in all patients. Increased CSF levels of NfL protein, total tau, and GFAp were seen in 63%, 37%, and 16% of patients, respectively. Increased NfL protein correlated with disease severity, time in intensive care, and level of consciousness. NfL protein in CSF was higher in patients with central neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although limited by the small sample size, our data suggest that levels of NfL protein, GFAp, and total tau in CSF are commonly elevated in patients with COVID-19 with neurological symptoms. This is in contrast to the standard CSF workup where pathological findings are scarce. NfL protein, in particular, is associated with central neurological symptoms and disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurofilament Proteins , Biomarkers , Central Nervous System , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
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