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Abstract Details

Focal White Matter Damage in Individuals with Cognitive Impairment After COVID-19
Infectious Disease
P11 - Poster Session 11 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)
Cognitive impairment is a common symptom of N-PASC and little is known about the underlying mechanism. It is characterized by deficits in executive functioning, processing speed, motor speed, attention, recall, and verbal fluency.
We report preliminary analyses of MRI measurements of white matter integrity in individuals with and without cognitive neuropsychiatric post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (N-PASC).
Participants with N-PASC (self-reported cognitive impairment >3 months after COVID-19) and controls with prior COVID without PASC underwent MR Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to assess white matter integrity (fractional anisotropy (FA); mean diffusivity (MD)). All imaging was performed on a Siemens 3T MRI scanner and a standard DTI sequence was used. Post-processing used BioImage Suite to generate data on 48 white matter tracts and group comparisons used non-parametric statistics.
14 participants with N-PASC (median age 43 [IQR 37 – 55], 79% female, median 450 days after COVID-19 [IQR 354 – 694]) and 6 controls (median age 34 [30 – 40], 67% female) underwent MRI. The groups did not differ in age, gender, or race. FA was lower in N-PASC compared to controls (C) in the corpus body (N-PASC: median of 0.61 and C: 0.64; p = 0.057) and MD was lower in the left posterior corona radiata (N-PASC: median of 0.0007 and C: 0.0008; p=0.04). A trend of lower FA was identified in corpus genu (N-PASC: median of 0.60 and C: 0.63; p = 0.11) and left stria terminalis/fornix (N-PASC: median of 0.50 and C: 0.53; p = 0.09). There was no difference between groups in the remaining tracts.
We report preliminary evidence of focal damage to the corpus callosum and corona radiata in N-PASC. Damage to these tracts may play a role by affecting processing speed and communication between hemispheres. We look forward to collecting additional data to investigate the mechanism further.
Lindsay S. McAlpine, MD (Yale University)
Dr. McAlpine has received personal compensation in the range of $50,000-$99,999 for serving as a T32 Grant Fellow with NIH.
Allison Nelson No disclosure on file
Jennifer Chiarella (Yale School of Medicine) No disclosure on file
Cheryl Lacadie No disclosure on file
Shelli Farhadian Shelli Farhadian has nothing to disclose.
Todd Constable No disclosure on file
Serena Spudich, MD (Yale University) The institution of Dr. Spudich has received research support from NIH.