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1.
J Clin Exp Neuropsychol ; 43(10): 980-990, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747019

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Few studies have considered health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as a primary outcome measure in adult survivors of primary brain tumor (PBT), and fewer still have studied the cognitive factors that may influence it. Research suggests that executive functions (EFs) are associated with HRQOL, but there is scant evidence to support this. The present study was conducted to (1) extend prior findings about HRQOL limitations in a sample of stable, long-term adult survivors of PBT, (2) investigate the associations between objective/reported EFs and HRQOL, and (3) identify the EFs that contribute most to HRQOL. METHOD: We recruited 40 survivors of PBT (> 2 years post-treatment) and 40 matched healthy controls. Participants completed an objective EF assessment (inhibition, working memory, shifting, and rule detection) and two self-report questionnaires probing EFs (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult) and HRQOL (Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36). Participants' relatives completed observer-rated versions of these questionnaires. RESULTS: Patients' objective EF performances were relatively intact. However, patients and caregivers reported significantly more problems than healthy controls and their relatives, for both EFs and HRQOL. There were only negligible links between objective EFs and HRQOL, whereas numerous associations were found between reported EFs and HRQOL components. ANCOVA models revealed that specific reported EF processes contributed to both the physical and mental components of HRQOL, regardless of group. CONCLUSIONS: From a clinical point of view, this study demonstrates that even several years after end of treatment, adult PBT survivors experience substantial problems across different HRQOL domains. HRQOL assessment should therefore be part of the long-term follow-up of PBT survivors, and clinicians should consider EF limitations when designing appropriate survivorship care plans. These findings indicate that cognitive interventions targeting EFs could improve HRQOL.


Subject(s)
Brain Neoplasms , Quality of Life , Adult , Brain Neoplasms/complications , Brain Neoplasms/psychology , Executive Function/physiology , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires , Survivors
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732022

ABSTRACT

Physical activity during childhood and adolescence favors brain development and cognitive functioning, particularly the executive functions. This study aimed to assess potential associations between anthropometric parameters, physical activity, physical fitness, and executive functions among elementary school children returning to school after the COVID-19 lockdown in Chile. School-age male and female participants (n = 90; age, 10-12 years) participated in the study. To determine the association between variables, a multivariable linear regression analysis was performed. Higher fat-related anthropometric indexes were associated with lower working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning, and attention (r = -0.55 to -0.22; p = 0.031 to <0.001). In contrast, higher physical activity levels, better sprint performance, higher lower-body muscular power, and greater upper-body muscular strength were associated with better working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, planning, and/or attention (r = 0.19 to -0.54; p = 0.04 to <0.001). Current results consistently suggest the need for adequate levels of physical activity, physical fitness, and anthropometric parameters among the school-age population to promote healthy and adequate executive functions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Executive Function , Adolescent , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Executive Function/physiology , Exercise , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
3.
Brain Behav ; 12(3): e2508, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669374

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While much of the scientific focus thus far has been on cognitive sequelae in patients with severe COVID-19, subjective cognitive complaints are being reported across the spectrum of disease severity, with recent studies beginning to corroborate patients' perceived deficits. In response to this, the aims of this study were to (1) explore the frequency of impaired performance across cognitive domains in post-COVID patients with subjective complaints and (2) uncover whether impairment existed within a single domain or across multiple. METHODS: Sixty-three patients with subjective cognitive complaints post-COVID were assessed with a comprehensive protocol consisting of various neuropsychological tests and mood measures. Cognitive test performance was transformed into T scores and classified based on recommended guidelines. After performing a principal component analysis to define cognitive domain factors, distributions of test scores within and across domains were analyzed. RESULTS: Results revealed pervasive impact on attention abilities, both as the singularly affected domain (19% of single-domain impairment) as well as coupled with decreased performance in executive functions, learning, and long-term memory. These salient attentional and associated executive deficits were largely unrelated to clinical factors such as hospitalization, disease duration, biomarkers, or affective measures. DISCUSSION: These findings stress the importance of comprehensive evaluation and intervention to address cognitive sequelae in post-COVID patients of varying disease courses, not just those who were hospitalized or experienced severe symptoms. Future studies should investigate to what extent these cognitive abilities are recuperated over time as well as employ neuroimaging techniques to uncover underlying mechanisms of neural damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognition Disorders , Cognitive Dysfunction , COVID-19/complications , Cognition/physiology , Cognition Disorders/complications , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Executive Function/physiology , Humans , Neuropsychological Tests
4.
Sch Psychol ; 36(5): 293-302, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442723

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence suggests the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is adversely affecting adolescents' mental health and health behaviors, particularly among those with preexisting mental health conditions and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. However, direct tests of changes in health outcomes among vulnerable adolescents from before to during COVID-19 are limited. In addition, little is known about how to buffer adolescents, particularly those who are most vulnerable, against stress-related decrements in health. This randomized controlled trial begins to fill these gaps in the literature by exploring changes in mental health, health behaviors, executive function, emotion regulation, and mindfulness among vulnerable adolescents involved in a mentoring program during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also examined to what extent there were protective benefits of incorporating mindfulness training within a mentoring program for buffering adolescents from negative pandemic health effects. Thirty-five adolescents (Mage = 12.9, 37% female) and 32 parents (Mage = 44.75, 80% female) completed questionnaires at baseline (February 2020) and follow-up (July 2020). There were few significant reductions in health; instead, on average, youth reported improvements in sleep, emotion regulation, executive function, and mindfulness over time. Adolescents randomized to mentoring + mindfulness displayed significantly less posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology and emotional impulsivity at follow-up, compared to the mentoring-as-usual condition. These pilot findings suggest that mentoring with a mindfulness training component may offer an effective strategy for protecting adolescents from deteriorations in health outcomes during COVID-19. Further, there may be unique benefits of mindfulness training for vulnerable youth as a way to adapt to stressful events. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior/physiology , COVID-19 , Emotional Regulation/physiology , Executive Function/physiology , Impulsive Behavior/physiology , Mentoring , Mindfulness , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
5.
J Neurovirol ; 27(1): 191-195, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059483

ABSTRACT

As cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mount worldwide, attention is needed on potential long-term neurologic impacts for the majority of patients who experience mild to moderate illness managed as outpatients. To date, there has not been discussion of persistent neurocognitive deficits in patients with milder COVID-19. We present two cases of non-hospitalized patients recovering from COVID-19 with persistent neurocognitive symptoms. Commonly used cognitive screens were normal, while more detailed testing revealed working memory and executive functioning deficits. An observational cohort study of individuals recovering from COVID-19 (14 or more days following symptom onset) identified that among the first 100 individuals enrolled, 14 were non-hospitalized patients reporting persistent cognitive issues. These 14 participants had a median age of 39 years (interquartile range: 35-56), and cognitive symptoms were present for at least a median of 98 days (interquartile range: 71-120 following acute COVID-19 symptoms); no participants with follow-up evaluation reported symptom resolution. We discuss potential mechanisms to be explored in future studies, including direct viral effects, indirect consequences of immune activation, and immune dysregulation causing auto-antibody production.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Cognitive Dysfunction/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cognitive Dysfunction/complications , Cognitive Dysfunction/immunology , Cognitive Dysfunction/virology , Executive Function/physiology , Female , Humans , Memory, Short-Term/physiology , Middle Aged , Neuropsychological Tests , Outpatients , Time Factors
6.
J Neurol Sci ; 420: 117271, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023663

ABSTRACT

More than half of patients who recover from COVID-19 experience fatigue. We studied fatigue using neuropsychological and neurophysiological investigations in post-COVID-19 patients and healthy subjects. Neuropsychological assessment included: Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Fatigue Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Apathy Evaluation Scale, cognitive tests, and computerized tasks. Neurophysiological examination was assessed before (PRE) and 2 min after (POST) a 1-min fatiguing isometric pinching task and included: maximum compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude in first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) following ulnar nerve stimulation, resting motor threshold, motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and silent period (SP) duration in right FDI following transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left motor cortex. Maximum pinch strength was measured. Perceived exertion was assessed with the Borg-Category-Ratio scale. Patients manifested fatigue, apathy, executive deficits, impaired cognitive control, and reduction in global cognition. Perceived exertion was higher in patients. CMAP and MEP were smaller in patients both PRE and POST. CMAP did not change in either group from PRE to POST, while MEP amplitudes declined in controls POST. SP duration did not differ between groups PRE, increased in controls but decreased in patients POST. Patients' change of SP duration from PRE to POST was negatively correlated to FSS. Abnormal SP shortening and lack of MEP depression concur with a reduction in post-exhaustion corticomotor inhibition, suggesting a possible GABAB-ergic dysfunction. This impairment might be related to the neuropsychological alterations. COVID-19-associated inflammation might lead to GABAergic impairment, possibly representing the basis of fatigue and explaining apathy and executive deficits.


Subject(s)
Action Potentials/physiology , COVID-19/complications , Executive Function/physiology , Fatigue/virology , Muscle, Skeletal/physiopathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/psychology , Evoked Potentials, Motor/physiology , Fatigue/physiopathology , Fatigue/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Motor Cortex/physiopathology , Neuropsychological Tests , Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
7.
Front Public Health ; 8: 593916, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972864

ABSTRACT

Objective: Emerging research within school settings suggests acute forms of physical activity and exercise lead to improvements in executive functioning among children. However, research pertaining to these effects within the afterschool setting remains limited. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of a community-based afterschool running and reading program on executive functioning in 8 to 12-year-old children. Method: Fifty participants were initially recruited to participate in this study. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data collection was terminated prematurely which resulted in a sample size of 15 participants. Participants (N = 10) from School 1 completed two batteries of executive function assessments (i.e., inhibition, switching, and updating) separated by 15-min of running or 15-min of sedentary reading. Whereas, only 5 participants from School 2 completed assessments of executive functioning prior to and following the running portion of the program (due to the early termination of data collection). Results: Overall, executive function scores improved across each assessment following the running condition when compared to the reading condition (School 1). Inhibition scores significantly improved, and these effects were very large (School 1). Across both schools, improvements in executive functioning following the running portion of the program ranged from small-large in effect size. Conclusion: Findings from the present study provide initial evidence for the acute effects of a community-based afterschool running and reading program on executive functioning in children. Future research with larger samples in afterschool settings is recommended to replicate this preliminary work.


Subject(s)
Educational Status , Executive Function/physiology , Exercise Therapy/methods , Health Promotion/methods , Reading , Sedentary Behavior , Child , Female , Humans , Male
8.
Seizure ; 83: 89-97, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-867108

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Traditional neuropsychological testing carries elevated COVID-19 risk for both examinee and examiner. Here we describe how the pilot study of the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) has transitioned to tele-neuropsychology (teleNP), enabling continued safe operations during the pandemic. METHODS: The AEP includes adults (age 18-60) with a first unprovoked seizure, new diagnosis of epilepsy or drug resistant focal epilepsy. Shortly after launching the study, COVID-related restrictions necessitated adaptation to teleNP, including delivery of verbal tasks via videoconference; visual stimulus delivery via document camera; use of web-hosted, computerised assessment; substitution of oral versions for written tests; online delivery of questionnaires; and discontinuation of telehealth incompatible tasks. RESULTS: To date, we have completed 24 teleNP assessments: 18 remotely (participant in own home) and six on-site (participant using equipment at research facility). Five face-to-face assessments were conducted prior to the transition to teleNP. Eight of 408 tests administered via teleNP (1.9 %) have been invalidated, for a variety of reasons (technical, procedural, environmental). Data confirm typical patterns of epilepsy-related deficits (p < .05) affecting processing speed, executive function, language and memory. Questionnaire responses indicate elevated rates of patients at high risk of mood (34 %) and anxiety disorder (38 %). CONCLUSION: Research teleNP assessments reveal a typical pattern of impairments in epilepsy. A range of issues must be considered when introducing teleNP, such as technical and administrative set up, test selection and delivery, and cohort suitability. TeleNP enables large-scale neuropsychological research during periods of social distancing (and beyond), and offers an opportunity to expand the reach and breadth of neuropsychological services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Epilepsy/virology , Executive Function/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Telemedicine , Australia , COVID-19/complications , Epilepsy/complications , Humans , Neuropsychological Tests , Neuropsychology/methods , Pilot Projects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods
9.
Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging ; 6(1): 79-88, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733926

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early pubertal maturation has been posited to be a biopsychosocial risk factor for the onset of internalizing psychopathology in adolescence; further, early-maturing youths exhibit heightened reactivity to stressful events. School closures and enforced social distancing, as well as health and financial uncertainties, during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to adversely affect mental health in youths, particularly adolescents who are already at risk for experiencing emotional difficulties. The executive control network (ECN) supports cognitive processes required to successfully navigate novel challenges and regulate emotions in stressful contexts. METHODS: We examined whether functional coherence of the ECN, measured using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging 5 years before the pandemic (T1), is a neurobiological marker of resilience to increases in the severity of internalizing symptoms during COVID-19 in adolescents who were in more advanced stages of puberty at T1 relative to their same-age peers (N = 85, 49 female). RESULTS: On average, participants reported an increase in symptoms from the 3 months before pandemic to the 2 most recent weeks during the pandemic. We found that early-maturing youths exhibited greater increases in internalizing symptoms during the pandemic if their ECN coherence was low; in contrast, relative pubertal stage was not associated with changes in internalizing symptoms in adolescents with higher ECN coherence at T1. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the role of the functional architecture of the brain that supports executive functioning in protecting against risk factors that may exacerbate symptoms of internalizing psychopathology during periods of stress and uncertainty.


Subject(s)
Brain/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/psychology , Executive Function/physiology , Nerve Net/diagnostic imaging , Puberty/psychology , Adolescent , Anxiety/diagnostic imaging , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Child , Defense Mechanisms , Depression/diagnostic imaging , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Risk Factors
10.
Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S255-S257, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401603

ABSTRACT

In this commentary we discuss a downstream consequence of increases in stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress and anxiety can lead to mind wandering, which in turn competes for limited cognitive resources. We encourage researchers to be understanding and patient concerning the inevitable cognitive impact of the pandemic and subsequent reduced productivity levels from our students, colleagues, and ourselves. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Anxiety/physiopathology , Attention/physiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections , Executive Function/physiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Psychotherapy , Stress, Psychological/physiopathology , Adult , COVID-19 , Efficiency , Humans , Mindfulness , Students , Universities , Young Adult
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