Home News General Health News Network Reorganization Compensates for Post-COVID Neural Deficits

Network Reorganization Compensates for Post-COVID Neural Deficits

Patients with post-COVID condition have greater brain activation across the network, lesser deactivation in default mode regions

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Compensatory neural processes with greater usage of alternate brain regions are observed in patients with post-COVID condition (PCC) with neuropsychiatric symptoms, according to a study published online April 26 in Neurology.

Linda Chang, M.D., from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues used blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether patients with PCC have abnormal brain activation during working memory. Data were included for 29 participants with PCC and 21 healthy controls. Participants underwent assessment using three National Institutes of Health-Toolbox (NIHTB) batteries for Cognition, Emotion, and Motor function (NIHTB-CB, NIHTB-EB, and NIHTB-MB, respectively), as well as certain tests from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS).

The researchers found that the PCC group had similar and normal performance on the NIHTB-CB as controls, despite the high prevalence of memory and concentration complaints (79 and 93 percent, respectively). Compared with controls, PCC participants had greater brain activation across the network, with greater activation in the right superior frontal gyrus, but lesser deactivation in the default mode regions. Furthermore, PCC participants had poorer dexterity and endurance on the NIHTB-MB, higher T-scores for negative affect and perceived stress, and lower T-scores for psychological well-being on the NIHTB-EB versus controls; they also had more pain symptoms and poorer mental and physical health PROMIS measures. Greater brain activation predicted worse scores on abnormal measures on the NIHTB-MB.

“These findings indicated a reorganized working memory network, with greater or compensatory usage of the nondominant brain regions, but less usage of the parietal default mode resources, to maintain normal performance,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.