More than half of patients who recover from COVID-19 experience fatigue. We studied fatigue using neuropsychological and neurophysiological investigations in post-COVID-19 patients and healthy subjects. Neuropsychological assessment included: Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Fatigue Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Apathy Evaluation Scale, cognitive tests, and computerized tasks. Neurophysiological examination was assessed before (PRE) and 2 min after (POST) a 1-min fatiguing isometric pinching task and included: maximum compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude in first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) following ulnar nerve stimulation, resting motor threshold, motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and silent period (SP) duration in right FDI following transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left motor cortex. Maximum pinch strength was measured. Perceived exertion was assessed with the Borg-Category-Ratio scale. Patients manifested fatigue, apathy, executive deficits, impaired cognitive control, and reduction in global cognition. Perceived exertion was higher in patients. CMAP and MEP were smaller in patients both PRE and POST. CMAP did not change in either group from PRE to POST, while MEP amplitudes declined in controls POST. SP duration did not differ between groups PRE, increased in controls but decreased in patients POST. Patients' change of SP duration from PRE to POST was negatively correlated to FSS. Abnormal SP shortening and lack of MEP depression concur with a reduction in post-exhaustion corticomotor inhibition, suggesting a possible GABAB-ergic dysfunction. This impairment might be related to the neuropsychological alterations. COVID-19-associated inflammation might lead to GABAergic impairment, possibly representing the basis of fatigue and explaining apathy and executive deficits.

Neuropsychological and neurophysiological correlates of fatigue in post-acute patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19: Insights into a challenging symptom

Koch G.;
2021

Abstract

More than half of patients who recover from COVID-19 experience fatigue. We studied fatigue using neuropsychological and neurophysiological investigations in post-COVID-19 patients and healthy subjects. Neuropsychological assessment included: Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Fatigue Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Apathy Evaluation Scale, cognitive tests, and computerized tasks. Neurophysiological examination was assessed before (PRE) and 2 min after (POST) a 1-min fatiguing isometric pinching task and included: maximum compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude in first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) following ulnar nerve stimulation, resting motor threshold, motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and silent period (SP) duration in right FDI following transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left motor cortex. Maximum pinch strength was measured. Perceived exertion was assessed with the Borg-Category-Ratio scale. Patients manifested fatigue, apathy, executive deficits, impaired cognitive control, and reduction in global cognition. Perceived exertion was higher in patients. CMAP and MEP were smaller in patients both PRE and POST. CMAP did not change in either group from PRE to POST, while MEP amplitudes declined in controls POST. SP duration did not differ between groups PRE, increased in controls but decreased in patients POST. Patients' change of SP duration from PRE to POST was negatively correlated to FSS. Abnormal SP shortening and lack of MEP depression concur with a reduction in post-exhaustion corticomotor inhibition, suggesting a possible GABAB-ergic dysfunction. This impairment might be related to the neuropsychological alterations. COVID-19-associated inflammation might lead to GABAergic impairment, possibly representing the basis of fatigue and explaining apathy and executive deficits.
2021
Ortelli, P.; Ferrazzoli, D.; Sebastianelli, L.; Engl, M.; Romanello, R.; Nardone, R.; Bonini, I.; Koch, G.; Saltuari, L.; Quartarone, A.; Oliviero, A.; Kofler, M.; Versace, V.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2505244
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