The Effects of COVID-19 Infection on Cognition




Stevens, Yaël

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Objective: Determine the post-acute effects of COVID-19 infection on cognition. Participants: A total of 103 participants have so far been included, and this study will continue to recruit participants. The patient group includes those who contracted COVID-19 at least three months before assessment and the control group includes those who have never been infected with COVID-19. Methods: Participants initially complete a 30-45 minute online survey which includes questions regarding demographics, health, and cognition. Next, participants meet with a Research Assistant (RA) for a teleneuropsychology assessment in which many aspects of cognitive functioning are evaluated (ie. memory, executive function, cognitive effort). Following this, participant data is analysed. Preliminary Results: The patient group self-reported more difficulties completing instrumental activities of daily living, more symptoms of depression, and more cognitive difficulties than the control group. COVID-19 infection is associated with worse executive function on some but not all measures, and scores indicating possible issues relating to symptom validity. Conclusion: Due to potential issues of symptom validity in the COVID-19 group, their neuropsychology data may be unreliable. For instance, if someone has a (sub)conscious belief that they should not or can not perform well on tasks, that may impact their performance during assessment.



COVID-19, Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognition, Brain, Cognitive Function