Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected over 539 million individuals worldwide, and initial research supports the possibility that COVID-19 may damage the central nervous system either directly or indirectly. Neurological signs and noted cognitive deficits observed in even mildly infected patients are a cause for concern for those infected by COVID-19; the effect of social isolation on the central nervous system is also of interest. The present study sought to determine the extent of these potential cognitive deficits in a young and mildly infected sample of college students. Participants completed an extensive survey assessing their experience with COVID-19 and any pandemic-induced social isolation. Participants then completed a battery of cognitive assessments to evaluate attention, memory, and executive functioning. Results largely suggested that mild infection did not cause lasting cognitive deficits. While social isolation largely did not influence cognition, it had an effect on non-diagnostic measures of certain mental health disorders. Overall, the present data suggest no evidence of current Long-COVID related cognitive deficits in a young and mildly infected sample, despite participants reporting perceived deficits in their cognition. This perceived lack will be important for clinicians and researchers to consider as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop.
Kirchner, K. N.(2022). Cognitive Consequences of COVID-19 Infection and Quarantine-Induced Social Isolation: Hope for the Young and Mildly Infected. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6946