Risk factors and abnormal cerebrospinal fluid associate with cognitive symptoms after mild COVID-19

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2022 Feb;9(2):221-226. doi: 10.1002/acn3.51498. Epub 2022 Jan 19.


Cognitive post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) can occur after mild COVID-19. Detailed clinical characterizations may inform pathogenesis. We evaluated 22 adults reporting cognitive PASC and 10 not reporting cognitive symptoms after mild SARS-CoV-2 infection through structured interviews, neuropsychological testing, and optional cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) evaluations (53%). Delayed onset of cognitive PASC occurred in 43% and associated with younger age. Cognitive PASC participants had a higher number of pre-existing cognitive risk factors (2.5 vs. 0; p = 0.03) and higher proportion with abnormal CSF findings (77% vs. 0%; p = 0.01) versus controls. Cognitive risk factors and immunologic mechanisms may contribute to cognitive PASC pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / cerebrospinal fluid
  • COVID-19 / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / virology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Personnel
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity*
  • Young Adult