Cognitive assessment in asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects

Virusdisease. 2021 Mar;32(1):146-149. doi: 10.1007/s13337-021-00663-w. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Neurological features of COVID-19 have been reported in addition to the respiratory manifestations, but cognitive dysfunction has been scarcely described. And cognitive assessment has not been studied in asymptomatic subjects. We compared the cognitive assessment scores between asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects with that of controls to detect mild cognitive impairment by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. Asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects secured lower scores in certain domains of the MoCA in comparison with the controls. The domains were visuoperception (2.4 ± 0.7 vs2.8 ± 0.7, p = 0.032), naming (3.6 ± 0.5 vs3.9 ± 0.2, p = 0.016) and fluency (0.9 ± 0.6 vs1.6 ± 0.7, p = < 0.001). Also, older aged COVID-19 positive subjects scored lower in the MoCA when compared to the younger people. Our study shows that even otherwise asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects have cognitive deficits in certain subdomains and suggests the need for a detailed psychometric assessment especially in the elderly population.

Supplementary information: The online version of this article (10.1007/s13337-021-00663-w).

Keywords: COVID-19 brain; COVID-19 cognition; COVID-19 neurological; COVID-19 neuropsychiatric; COVID-19 psychiatric.