June 8, 2023

Study: Post COVID-19 neuroinflammation with persistent depressive, cognitive symptoms

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This Canadian study finds that translocator protein distribution volume (TSPO Vt) an index of brain gliosis (ie, an inflammatory change) was higher in COVID-19 patients with persistent depressive and cognitive symptoms (COVID-DC).

Researchers compared TSPO Vt of specific regions of the brain in 20 participants with COVID-DC and 20 healthy controls.

The TSPO Vt was greater in those with COVID-DC than healthy controls, and the difference was most prominent in the ventral striatum and dorsal putamen of the brain.

Motor speed on the finger-tapping test negatively correlated with dorsal putamen TSPO Vt, and the 10 participants with the slowest speed had higher dorsal putamen TSPO Vt than healthy controls.

The researchers concluded that gliosis may explain some persistent depressive and cognition symptoms, including slowed motor speed, low motivation or energy, and anhedonia after COVID-19 and provide direction for further therapeutic development.


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