As of December, 2020, 69.1 million have been reported infected and 1.57 million deaths have resulted from COVID-19. Without question the primary focus of the resulting Pandemic has been to reduce the risk or death and the rapid contagion of the disease. Given that it has been recognized that this and other viruses do indeed enter the brain ( M. Desfordes, A. Le Coupanec, P. Dubeau et al, 2020; A.S. Zubair et al.,2020), studies are now being turned to understand possible residual effects on behavior and brain function. There are several routes in which the virus can influence brain function resulting in delayed demyelinating processes (L. Zanin et al., 2020) and general neuroinflammatory processes (J. Remsik et al. 2021) effecting frontal lobes and brainstem structures (G. De Santis, 2020; M. Dube et al. 2018; S. Gandhi et al. 2020). Initial structural neuroimaging studies have evidenced generalized encephalopathies and damage particularly to medial temporal regions (R.W. Paterson et al., 2020; S. Kramer et al., 2020). As might be expected, patients requiring more intensive care have more diverse anomalous findings in MRI studies (S. Kandemirli et al., 2020). Six months following discharge from hospitalization, studies are reporting that as many as over 30% of patients are experiencing decline in cognitive functioning (A. Pilotto et al., 2020) and over 20% of patients experience significant mood regulation problems (C. Huang et al., 2021). Functional neuroimaging studies have corroborated structural findings in noting dysfunction in the frontal regions (I. Cani et al. 2020)). EEG studies have also noted frontal regions increased delta corresponding to these findings (E. Pasini et al. 2020). COVID-19 patients with resultant seizures, focal areas have been identified in the temporal, frontotemporal, and central-parietal regions (N. Narula et al., 2020). In an effort to develop a database of QEEG correlates resulting from COVID infection, the authors are contributing EEG data with qEEG and sLORETA analyses that can potentially provide a method differentiating residual effects that can be attributable to COVID-19. Preliminary cases studies comparing pre to post COVID-19 exposure evidence increased delta and theta absolute power in bilateral frontal poles, fronto-temporal regions and central-parietal regions and an increase volumetric deviations in the frontal and temporal regions by sLORETA analyses with concomitant changes in aspects of cognition and mood regulation. Current vaccines being used to prevent more serious effects of the COVID-19 and potential variants can stimulant the immune system to trigger cytokine storms in some individuals and can trigger neuroinflammatory effects on the brain. Pre and post vaccination non-COVID positive subjects will be discussed. These early findings speak to the importance of using qEEG to provide biomarkers for individuals who may have cytokine storms by any of number of challenges to the immune system.
Presented by: David Cantor, Leslie Sherlin, Susan Blank, Robert Turner, Ronald Swatzyna, Barbara Minton, Harry Kerasidis, Britt Parramore, Adrian Van Deusen, Giuseppe Chiarenza & Tanju Surmeli