HealthDay News — Chronic neuropsychiatric symptoms are observed following COVID-19 infection, although self-reported symptoms are not associated with quantitative dysfunction, according to a study published in the October issue of Brain, Behavior & Immunity: Health.

Alex K. Chen, from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, and colleagues recruited COVID-19-positive adult patients (50% African American) from inpatient and outpatient settings in Georgia to examine the severity and chronicity of neurologic findings observed during the acute phase of infection during a 5-year period following infection. The study reported preliminary results from the first 200 patients who were 125 days past having a positive COVID-19 test, on average.

The researchers found that the most reported symptom in the study cohort was fatigue (68.5%). Overall, 30% of participants had hyposmia and 30% had hypogeusia. There was no correlation for self-reported neurologic dysfunction with dysfunction on quantitative neurologic testing. There were associations observed for self-reported symptoms and comorbidities with depression and anxiety. Compared with demographically matched controls, the study cohort performed worse on cognitive measures; on all quantitative cognitive testing, African American patients scored lower than non-Hispanic White patients.

“Novel findings include evidence that self-reported symptoms may not correlate with quantitative testing,” the authors write. “These data underscore the importance of quantitative testing in the accurate assessment of deficits.”

Abstract/Full Text