220 | Neural correlates of cognitive impairment phenotypes following a COVID-19 infection

Neural Circuits and Systems Neuroscience

Author: Fermin Travi | Email: fermintravi@gmail.com

Fermin Travi , Micaela A. Hernández , Juan E. Kamienkowski , Bruno Bianchi , Agostina Carello , Belén Helou , Lucía Crivelli , Diego Fernández Slezak , Ismael L. Calandri

1° Laboratorio de Inteligencia Artificial Aplicada, Instituto de Ciencias de la Computación, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (UBA-CONICET)
2° Departamento de Computación, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires
3° Maestría de Explotación de Datos y Descubrimiento del Conocimiento, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires
4° Departamento de Neurología, Servicio de Neurología Cognitiva, Neuropsicología y Neuropsiquiatría, Fleni

Subjective complaints on cognitive function impairment following a COVID-19 infection is a recently studied phenomenon that can last for over a year. 42 patients (32 females, 10 males, mean age 56) have approached the clinic with such symptoms and have performed below average on neurocognitive clinical evaluations, mainly in attention, executive control, memory, and language. In this study, we analyze the topology of their functional networks based on connectivity matrices built from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging protocols carried out on these patients, and compare them to a matched control group (45 patients; 27 females, 18 males, mean age 58) with no prior cognitive impairments at the time of study. Our analysis shows a seizable difference between groups in the average clustering coefficient computed on a range of thresholds (percentage of maximum number of connections in a given network), mostly in the salience network, but also in the dorsal attention and frontoparietal networks. These results support the hypothesis of a difference in neuroanatomical substrate between the two groups and, furthermore, that the COVID-19 infection would be responsible for it.