Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

The unique contribution of depression to cognitive impairment in Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Brain Behav Immun Health 2022 Jul;22:100460



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85133313717 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   6 Citations


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with significant cognitive impairment and increased risk for mental health comorbidities. This study aimed to identify specific associations between cognitive impairment, self-reported disruptions in memory, and psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and perceived sleep concerns.

METHODS: Data collected from all consecutive patients with Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) who presented to a dedicated Post-COVID Clinic were used to evaluate whether certain psychiatric symptoms were more strongly associated with cognitive impairment and self-reported memory disturbances.

RESULTS: Univariate and multivariable analyses revealed that depression symptom severity was significantly associated with the severity of cognitive impairment among patients with PASC. This association was driven primarily by lower performance on verbal fluency, attention, and delayed recall tasks among patients with higher depression symptoms severity. Perceived sleep concerns were an important predictor of self-reported memory disturbances. Conversely, neither PTSD symptom severity nor anxiety symptom severity were significant predictors of cognitive impairment or self-reported memory disturbances.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings have important clinical implications for justifying the need for screening patients with PASC for both depression and cognitive impairment.

Author List

Brown LA, Ballentine E, Zhu Y, McGinley EL, Pezzin L, Abramoff B


Liliana Pezzin PhD, JD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin