| Cross-sectional case-control studies  

Neurologic Manifestations of Long COVID Differ Based on Acute COVID-19 Severity

In this prospective study the authors aimed to characterize neurologic manifestations in post-hospitalization Neuro-PASC (PNP) and non-hospitalized Neuro-PASC (NNP) patients.

The first 100 consecutive PNP and 500 NNP patients evaluated at a Neuro-COVID-19 clinic between 5/2020 and 8/2021 were included. Concerning the results, PNP were older than NNP patients (mean 53.9 vs 44.9 y; p < 0.0001) with a higher prevalence of pre-existing comorbidities. An average 6.8 months from onset, the main neurologic symptoms were "brain fog" (81.2%), headache (70.3%), and dizziness (49.5%) with only anosmia, dysgeusia and myalgias being more frequent in the NNP compared to the PNP group (59 vs 39%, 57.6 vs 39% and 50.4 vs 33%, all p < 0.003). Moreover, 85.8% of patients experienced fatigue. PNP more frequently had an abnormal neurologic exam than NNP patients (62.2 vs 37%, p < 0.0001). Both groups had impaired quality of life in cognitive, fatigue, sleep, anxiety, and depression domains. PNP patients performed worse on processing speed, attention, and working memory tasks than NNP patients (T-score 41.5 vs 55, 42.5 vs 47 and 45.5 vs 49, all p < 0.001) and a US normative population. NNP patients had lower results in attention task only. Subjective impression of cognitive ability correlated with cognitive test results in NNP but not in PNP patients. The authors concluded that PNP and NNP patients both experience persistent neurologic symptoms affecting their quality of life. However, they harbor significant differences in demographics, comorbidities, neurologic symptoms and findings, as well as pattern of cognitive dysfunction. Such differences suggest distinct etiologies of Neuro-PASC in these populations warranting targeted interventions.

Perez Giraldo GS, Ali ST, Kang AK, Patel TR, Budhiraja S, Gaelen JI, Lank GK, Clark JR, Mukherjee S, Singer T, Venkatesh A, Orban ZS, Lim PH, Jimenez M, Miller J, Taylor C, Szymanski AL, Scarpelli J, Graham EL, Balabanov RD, Barcelo BE, Cahan JG, Ruckman K, Shepard AG, Slutzky MW, LaFaver K, Kumthekar PU, Shetty NK, Carroll KS, Ho SU, Lukas RV, Batra A, Liotta EM, Koralnik IJ. Neurologic Manifestations of Long COVID Differ Based on Acute COVID-19 Severity. Ann Neurol. 2023 Jul;94(1):146-159.

doi: 10.1002/ana.26649.