More Evidence COVID 'Brain Fog' Is Biologically Based
Patients with persistent cognitive impairment months after illness with mild COVID-19 have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Researchers found elevated levels of CSF immune activation and immunovascular markers in individuals with cognitive post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Patients whose cognitive symptoms developed during the acute phase of COVID-19 had the highest levels of brain inflammation. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests the condition often referred to as "brain fog" has a neurological basis, said lead author Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS, assistant professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco Weill Institute of Neurosciences and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday.
@gagan There are no effective diagnostic tests or treatments for cognitive PASC, which prompted the investigators to study inflammation in patients with the condition. As reported by Medscape Medical News, the same investigators published initial findings earlier this year. This research showed abnormalities in the CSF in 77% of patients with cognitive impairment. Patients without cognitive impairments had normal CSF. Extending that work in this new study, researchers studied patients from the Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC) study with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who were not hospitalized. They conducted 2-hour neurocognitive interviews and identified 23 people with new, persistent cognitive symptoms (cognitive PASC) and 10 with no cognitive symptoms who served as controls.