BACKGROUND: Common long-term sequelae after COVID-19 include fatigue and cognitive impairment. Although symptoms interfere with daily living, the underlying pathology is largely unknown. Previous studies report relative hypometabolism in frontal, limbic and cerebellar regions suggesting focal brain involvement. We aimed to determine whether absolute hypometabolism was present and correlated to same day standardized neurocognitive testing.

METHODS: Fourteen patients included from a long COVID clinic had cognitive testing and quantitative dynamic [18F]FDG PET of the brain on the same day to correlate cognitive function to metabolic glucose rate.

RESULTS: We found no hypometabolism in frontal, limbic and cerebellar regions in cognitively impaired relative to cognitive intact patients. In contrast, the cognitive impaired patients showed higher cerebellar metabolism (p = 0.03), which correlated with more severe deficits in working memory and executive function (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Hypermetabolism in the cerebellum may reflect inefficient brain processing and play a role in cognitive impairments after COVID-19.

TidsskriftBrain Sciences
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 22 dec. 2022


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