Objectives: To explore the neuropsychological profile and the integrity of the olfactory network in patients with COVID-19-related persistent olfactory dysfunction (OD).Methods: Patients with persistent COVID-19-related OD underwent olfactory assessment with Sniffin' Sticks and neuropsychological evaluation. Additionally, both patients and a control group underwent brain MRI, including T1-weighted and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) sequences on a 3 T scanner. Morphometrical properties were evaluated in olfaction-associated regions; the rs-fMRI data were analysed using graph theory at the whole -brain level and within a standard parcellation of the olfactory functional network. All the MR-derived quantities were compared between the two groups and their correlation with clinical scores in patients were explored.Results: We included 23 patients (mean age 37 & PLUSMN; 14 years, 12 females) with persistent (mean duration 11 & PLUSMN; 5 months, range 2-19 months) COVID-19-related OD (mean score 23.63 & PLUSMN; 5.32/48, hyposmia cut-off: 30.75) and 26 sex-and age-matched healthy controls. Applying population-derived cut-off values, the two cognitive do-mains mainly impaired were visuospatial memory and executive functions (17 % and 13 % of patients). Brain MRI did not show gross morphological abnormalities. The lateral orbital cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala volumes exhibited a reduction trend in patients, not significant after the correction for multiple comparisons. The olfactory bulb volumes did not differ between patients and controls. Graph analysis of the functional olfactory network showed altered global and local properties in the patients' group (n = 19, 4 excluded due to artifacts) compared to controls. Specifically, we detected a reduction in the global modularity coefficient, positively correlated with hyposmia severity, and an increase of the degree and strength of the right thalamus functional connections, negatively correlated with short-term verbal memory scores.Discussion: Patients with persistent COVID-19-related OD showed an altered olfactory network connectivity correlated with hyposmia severity and neuropsychological performance. No significant morphological alter-ations were found in patients compared with controls.

Cognitive and functional connectivity impairment in post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction

Pensato, Umberto;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the neuropsychological profile and the integrity of the olfactory network in patients with COVID-19-related persistent olfactory dysfunction (OD).Methods: Patients with persistent COVID-19-related OD underwent olfactory assessment with Sniffin' Sticks and neuropsychological evaluation. Additionally, both patients and a control group underwent brain MRI, including T1-weighted and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) sequences on a 3 T scanner. Morphometrical properties were evaluated in olfaction-associated regions; the rs-fMRI data were analysed using graph theory at the whole -brain level and within a standard parcellation of the olfactory functional network. All the MR-derived quantities were compared between the two groups and their correlation with clinical scores in patients were explored.Results: We included 23 patients (mean age 37 & PLUSMN; 14 years, 12 females) with persistent (mean duration 11 & PLUSMN; 5 months, range 2-19 months) COVID-19-related OD (mean score 23.63 & PLUSMN; 5.32/48, hyposmia cut-off: 30.75) and 26 sex-and age-matched healthy controls. Applying population-derived cut-off values, the two cognitive do-mains mainly impaired were visuospatial memory and executive functions (17 % and 13 % of patients). Brain MRI did not show gross morphological abnormalities. The lateral orbital cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala volumes exhibited a reduction trend in patients, not significant after the correction for multiple comparisons. The olfactory bulb volumes did not differ between patients and controls. Graph analysis of the functional olfactory network showed altered global and local properties in the patients' group (n = 19, 4 excluded due to artifacts) compared to controls. Specifically, we detected a reduction in the global modularity coefficient, positively correlated with hyposmia severity, and an increase of the degree and strength of the right thalamus functional connections, negatively correlated with short-term verbal memory scores.Discussion: Patients with persistent COVID-19-related OD showed an altered olfactory network connectivity correlated with hyposmia severity and neuropsychological performance. No significant morphological alter-ations were found in patients compared with controls.
2023
Hyposmia
Long Covid
functional MRI (fMRI)
post acute COVID syndrome (PACS)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/83427
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