134 results found
Peers PV, Punton SF, Murphy FC, et al., 2022, A randomized control trial of the effects of home-based online attention training and working memory training on cognition and everyday function in a community stroke sample., Neuropsychol Rehabil, Vol: 32, Pages: 2603-2627
Cognitive difficulties are common following stroke and can have widespread impacts on everyday functioning. Technological advances offer the possibility of individualized cognitive training for patients at home, potentially providing a low-cost, low-intensity adjunct to rehabilitation services. Using this approach, we have previously demonstrated post-training improvements in attention and everyday functioning in fronto-parietal stroke patients. Here we examine whether these benefits are observed more broadly in a community stroke sample. Eighty patients were randomized to either 4 weeks of online adaptive attention training (SAT), working memory training (WMT) or waitlist (WL). Cognitive and everyday function measures were collected before and after the intervention, and after 3 months. During training, weekly measures of patients' subjective functioning were collected. The training was well received and compliance good. No differences in our primary end-point, spatial bias, or other cognitive functions were observed. However, on patient-reported outcomes, SAT participants showed greater levels of improvement in everyday functioning than WMT or WL participants. In line with our previous work, everyday functioning improvements were greatest for patients with spatial impairments and those who received SAT training. Whether attention training can be recommended for stroke survivors depends on whether cognitive test performance or everyday functioning is considered more relevant.
Hampshire A, Chatfield DA, Manktelow A, et al., 2022, Multivariate profile and acute-phase correlates of cognitive deficits in a COVID-19 hospitalised cohort, EClinicalMedicine, Vol: 47, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2589-5370
Background. Preliminary evidence has highlighted a likely association between severe COVID-19 and persistent cognitive deficits. Further research is required to confirm this association, determine whethercognitive deficits relate to clinical features from the acute phase or to mental health status at the point of assessment, and quantify rate of recovery.Methods. 46 individuals who received critical care for COVID-19 at Addenbrooke’s hospital (16 mechanically ventilated) underwent detailed computerised cognitive assessment alongside scales measuring anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder under supervised conditions at a mean follow up of 6.0 (+ 2.1) months following acute illness. Patient and matched control (N=460) performances were transformed into standard deviation from expected scores, accounting for age and demographic factors using an N=66,008 normative datasets. Global accuracy and response time composites were calculated (G_SScore & G_RT). Linear modelling predicted composite score deficitsfrom acute severity, mental-health status at assessment, and time from hospital admission. The pattern of deficits across tasks was qualitatively compared with normal age-related decline, and early-stage dementia.Findings. COVID-19 survivors were less accurate (G_SScore=-0.53SDs) and slower (G_RT=+0.89SDs) than expected given the matched controls. Acute illness, but not chronic mental health, significantly predicted cognitive deviation from expected scores (G_SScore (p=0.0037) and G_RT (p=0.0366)). The most prominent task associations with COVID-19 were for higher cognition and processing speed, which was qualitatively distinct from the profiles of normal ageing and dementia. A trend towards reduced deficits with time from illness (r~=0.15) did not reach statistical significance.Interpretation. Cognitive deficits after severe COVID-19 relate most strongly to acute illness severity, persist long into the chronic phase, and recover slowly if at all
Bourke N, Trender W, Hampshire A, et al., 2022, Assessing prospective and retrospective metacognitive accuracy following traumatic brain injury remotely across cognitive domains, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, ISSN: 0960-2011
The ability to monitor one's behaviour is frequently impaired following TBI, impacting on patients’ rehabilitation. Inaccuracies in judgement or self-reflection of one’s performance provides a useful marker of metacognition. However, metacognition is rarely measured during routine neuropsychology assessments and how it varies across cognitive domains is unclear. A cohort of participants consisting of 111 TBI patients [mean age = 45.32(14.15), female = 29] and 84 controls [mean age = 31.51(12.27), female = 43] was studied. Participants completed cognitive assessments via a bespoke digital platform on their smartphones. Included in the assessment were a prospective evaluation of memory and attention, and retrospective confidence judgements of task performance. Metacognitive accuracy was calculated from the difference between confidence judgement of task performance and actual performance. Prospective judgment of attention and memory was correlated with task performance in these domains for controls but not patients. TBI patients had lower task performance in processing speed, executive functioning and working memory compared to controls, maintaining high confidence, resulting in overestimation of cognitive performance compared to controls. Additional judgments of task performance complement neuropsychological assessments with little additional time–cost. These results have important theoretical and practical implications for evaluation of metacognitive impairment in TBI patients and neurorehabilitation.
Stewart GR, Corbett A, Ballard C, et al., 2022, Traumatic life experiences and post-traumatic stress symptoms in middle-aged and older adults with and without autistic traits., Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, Vol: 37
OBJECTIVES: Research with younger adults has begun to explore associations between autism/autistic traits and vulnerability to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Large scale studies and/or examination of age-effects have not been conducted. METHODS: Adults aged 50 years+ from the PROTECT study (n = 20,220) completed items about current and childhood socio-communicative difficulties characteristic of autism. Approximately 1% (n = 251) endorsed high autistic traits, henceforth the Autism Spectrum Traits (AST) group. Differences between the AST and an age-and sex-matched "Comparison Older Adults" (COA; n = 9179) group were explored for lifetime traumatic experiences and current symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. RESULTS: Almost 30% of the AST group, compared to less than 8% of the COA, reported severe trauma in childhood/adulthood, including emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Elevated current PTSD symptoms were reported by AST compared to COA. An interaction was observed between autistic traits and trauma severity; the effect of level of trauma on PTSD symptoms was significantly greater for AST versus COA participants. This interaction remained significant when controlling for current depression and anxiety symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that high autistic traits may increase the likelihood of experiencing trauma across the lifespan, and the impact of severe trauma on PTSD symptoms. Older adults with high (vs. low) autistic traits may be at greater risk of experiencing PTSD symptoms in latter life. Future research should test whether the pattern of results is similar for diagnosed autistic adults.
Hampshire A, Trender W, Grant JE, et al., 2022, Item-level analysis of mental health symptom trajectories during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: Associations with age, sex and pre-existing psychiatric conditions, Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol: 114, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0010-440X
BackgroundThere is widespread concern regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental health. Emerging meta-analyses suggest that the impact on anxiety/depression may have been transient, but much of the included literature has major methodological limitations. Addressing this topic rigorously requires longitudinal data of sufficient scope and scale, controlling for contextual variables, with baseline data immediately pre-pandemic.AimsTo analyse self-report of symptom frequency from two largely UK-based longitudinal cohorts: Cohort 1 (N = 10,475, two time-points: winter pre-pandemic to UK first winter resurgence), and Cohort 2 (N = 10,391, two time-points, peak first wave to UK first winter resurgence).MethodMultinomial logistic regression applied at the item level identified sub-populations with greater probability of change in mental health symptoms. Permutation analyses characterised changes in symptom frequency distributions. Cross group differences in symptom stability were evaluated via entropy of response transitions.ResultsAnxiety was the most affected aspect of mental health. The profiles of change in mood symptoms was less favourable for females and older adults. Those with pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses showed substantially higher probability of very frequent symptoms pre-pandemic and elevated risk of transitioning to the highest levels of symptoms during the pandemic. Elevated mental health symptoms were evident across intra-COVID timepoints in Cohort 2.ConclusionsThese findings suggest that mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic, including in a sustained fashion beyond the first UK lockdown into the first winter resurgence. Women, and older adults, were more affected relative to their own baselines. Those with diagnoses of psychiatric conditions were more likely to experience transition to the highest levels of symptom frequency.
Usher I, Hellyer P, Lee KS, et al., 2021, "It's not rocket science" and "It's not brain surgery"-"It's a walk in the park": prospective comparative study, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Vol: 375, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 0959-535X
Objective To compare cognitive testing scores in neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers to help settle the age old argument of which phrase—“It’s not brain surgery” or “It’s not rocket science”—is most deserved.Design International prospective comparative study.Setting United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and Canada.Participants 748 people (600 aerospace engineers and 148 neurosurgeons). After data cleaning, 401 complete datasets were included in the final analysis (329 aerospace engineers and 72 neurosurgeons).Main outcome measures Validated online test (Cognitron’s Great British Intelligence Test) measuring distinct aspects of cognition, spanning planning and reasoning, working memory, attention, and emotion processing abilities.Results The neurosurgeons showed significantly higher scores than the aerospace engineers in semantic problem solving (difference 0.33, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.52). Aerospace engineers showed significantly higher scores in mental manipulation and attention (−0.29, −0.48 to −0.09). No difference was found between groups in domain scores for memory (−0.18, −0.40 to 0.03), spatial problem solving (−0.19, −0.39 to 0.01), problem solving speed (0.03, −0.20 to 0.25), and memory recall speed (0.12, −0.10 to 0.35). When each group’s scores for the six domains were compared with those in the general population, only two differences were significant: the neurosurgeons’ problem solving speed was quicker (mean z score 0.24, 95% confidence interval 0.07 to 0.41) and their memory recall speed was slower (−0.19, −0.34 to −0.04).Conclusions In situations that do not require rapid problem solving, it might be more correct to use the phrase “It’s not brain surgery.” It is possible that both neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers are unnecessarily placed on a pedestal and that “It&rsqu
Stewart GR, Corbett A, Ballard C, et al., 2021, The Mental and Physical Health Profiles of Older Adults Who Endorse Elevated Autistic Traits., J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, Vol: 76, Pages: 1726-1737
OBJECTIVES: The mental and physical health profile of autistic people has been studied in adolescence and adulthood, with elevated rates of most conditions being reported. However, this has been little studied taking a dimensional approach to autistic traits and in older age. METHODS: A total of 20,220 adults aged 50-81 years from the PROTECT study reported whether they experienced persistent sociocommunicative traits characteristic of autism. Approximately 1%, 276 individuals, were identified as endorsing elevated autistic traits in childhood and currently, henceforth the "Autism Spectrum Trait" (AST) group. An age- and gender-matched comparison group was formed of 10,495 individuals who did not endorse any autistic behavioral traits, henceforth the "Control Older Adults" (COA) group. Differences between AST and COA groups were explored in self-reported psychiatric diagnoses, self-reported symptoms of current depression and anxiety, and self-reported physical health diagnoses. Associations were also examined between autistic traits and health across the whole sample. RESULTS: The AST group reported significantly elevated rates of psychiatric diagnoses compared to the COA group. Additionally, the AST group showed significantly higher self-reported symptoms of current depression and anxiety than the COA group. However, few differences were observed in individual physical health conditions, and no differences in total co-occurring physical diagnoses between groups. Similar associations between autistic traits and health were also found taking a dimensional approach across the whole sample. DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that older adults with elevated autistic traits may be at greater risk of poorer mental, but not physical, health in later life. Future studies should incorporate polygenic scores to elucidate the possible genetic links between the propensity to autism/high autistic traits and to psychiatric conditions, and to explore whether th
Hampshire A, Hellyer PJ, Trender W, et al., 2021, Insights into the impact on daily life of the COVID-19 pandemic and effective coping strategies from free-text analysis of people's collective experiences, Interface Focus, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2042-8901
There has been considerable speculation regarding how people cope during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, surveys requiring selection from prespecified answers are limited by researcher views and may overlook the most effective measures. Here, we apply an unbiased approach that learns from people's collective lived experiences through the application of natural-language processing of their free-text reports. At the peak of the first lockdown in the United Kingdom, 51 113 individuals provided free-text responses regarding self-perceived positive and negative impact of the pandemic, as well as the practical measures they had found helpful during this period. Latent Dirichlet Allocation identified, in an unconstrained data-driven manner, the most common impact and advice topics. We report that six negative topics and seven positive topics are optimal for capturing the different ways people reported being affected by the pandemic. Forty-five topics were required to optimally summarize the practical coping strategies that they recommended. General linear modelling showed that the prevalence of these topics covaried substantially with age. We propose that a wealth of coping measures may be distilled from the lived experiences of the general population. These may inform feasible individually tailored digital interventions that have relevance during and beyond the pandemic.
Parkin B, Daws R, Das Neves I, et al., 2021, Dissociable effects of age and Parkinson's disease on instruction based learning, Brain Communications, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2632-1297
The cognitive deficits associated with Parkinson’s disease vary across individuals and change across time, with implications for prognosis and treatment. Key outstanding challenges are to define the distinct behavioural characteristics of this disorder and develop diagnostic paradigms that can assess these sensitively in individuals. In a previous study, we measured different aspects of attentional control in Parkinson’s disease using an established fMRI switching paradigm. We observed no deficits for the aspects of attention the task was designed to examine; instead those with Parkinson’s disease learnt the operational requirements of the task more slowly. We hypothesized that a subset of people with early-to-mid stage Parkinson’s might be impaired when encoding rules for performing new tasks. Here, we directly test this hypothesis and investigate whether deficits in instruction-based learning represent a characteristic of Parkinson’s Disease. Seventeen participants with Parkinson’s disease (8 male; mean age: 61.2 years), 18 older adults (8 male; mean age: 61.3 years) and 20 younger adults (10 males; mean age: 26.7 years) undertook a simple instruction-based learning paradigm in the MRI scanner. They sorted sequences of coloured shapes according to binary discrimination rules that were updated at two-minute intervals. Unlike common reinforcement learning tasks, the rules were unambiguous, being explicitly presented; consequently, there was no requirement to monitor feedback or estimate contingencies. Despite its simplicity, a third of the Parkinson’s group, but only one older adult, showed marked increases in errors, 4 SD greater than the worst performing young adult. The pattern of errors was consistent, reflecting a tendency to misbind discrimination rules. The misbinding behaviour was coupled with reduced frontal, parietal and anterior caudate activity when rules were being encoded, but not when attention was initially o
Hampshire A, Trender W, Chamberlain SR, et al., 2021, Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19, ECLINICALMEDICINE, Vol: 39
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 142
Palmer EOC, Trender W, Tyacke RJ, et al., 2021, Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on alcohol consumption behaviours, BJPsych Open, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 2056-4724
BackgroundWe aimed to evaluate how coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions had altered individual's drinking behaviours, including consumption, hangover experiences, and motivations to drink, and changing levels of depression and anxiety.MethodWe conducted an online cross-sectional self-report survey. Whole group analysis compared pre- versus post-COVID restrictions. A correlation coefficient matrix evaluated the associations between all outcome scores. Self-report data was compared with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores from the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Multiple linear modelling (MLM) was calculated to identify factors associated with increasing AUDIT scores and post-restriction AUDIT scores.ResultsIn total, 346 individuals completed the survey, of which 336 reported drinking and were therefore analysed. After COVID-19 restrictions 23.2% of respondents reported an increased AUDIT score, and 60.1% a decreased score. AUDIT score change was positively correlated with change in depression (P < 0.01, r = 0.15), anxiety (P < 0.01, r = 0.15) and drinking to cope scores (P < 0.0001, r = 0.35). MLM revealed that higher AUDIT scores were associated with age, mental illness, lack of a garden, self-employed or furloughed individuals, a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and smoking status.ConclusionsCOVID-19 restrictions decreased alcohol consumption for the majority of individuals in this study. However, a small proportion increased their consumption; this related to drinking to cope and increased depression and anxiety.
Kurtin DL, Violante IR, Zimmerman K, et al., 2021, Investigating the interaction between white matter and brain state on tDCS-induced changes in brain network activity, Brain Stimulation, Vol: 14, Pages: 1261-1270, ISSN: 1876-4754
BACKGROUND: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of noninvasive brain stimulation whose potential as a cognitive therapy is hindered by our limited understanding of how participant and experimental factors influence its effects. Using functional MRI to study brain networks, we have previously shown in healthy controls that the physiological effects of tDCS are strongly influenced by brain state. We have additionally shown, in both healthy and traumatic brain injury (TBI) populations, that the behavioral effects of tDCS are positively correlated with white matter (WM) structure. OBJECTIVES: In this study we investigate how these two factors, WM structure and brain state, interact to shape the effect of tDCS on brain network activity. METHODS: We applied anodal, cathodal and sham tDCS to the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) of healthy (n = 22) and TBI participants (n = 34). We used the Choice Reaction Task (CRT) performance to manipulate brain state during tDCS. We acquired simultaneous fMRI to assess activity of cognitive brain networks and used Fractional Anisotropy (FA) as a measure of WM structure. RESULTS: We find that the effects of tDCS on brain network activity in TBI participants are highly dependent on brain state, replicating findings from our previous healthy control study in a separate, patient cohort. We then show that WM structure further modulates the brain-state dependent effects of tDCS on brain network activity. These effects are not unidirectional - in the absence of task with anodal and cathodal tDCS, FA is positively correlated with brain activity in several regions of the default mode network. Conversely, with cathodal tDCS during CRT performance, FA is negatively correlated with brain activity in a salience network region. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that experimental and participant factors interact to have unexpected effects on brain network activity, and that these effects are not fully predictable by studying the fa
Hampshire A, Hellyer PJ, Soreq E, et al., 2021, Associations between dimensions of behaviour, personality traits, and mental-health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom (vol 12, 4111, 2021), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 12
Sabatini S, Ukoumunne OC, Ballard C, et al., 2021, What does feeling younger or older than one's chronological age mean to men and women? Qualitative and quantitative findings from the PROTECT study, PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH, ISSN: 0887-0446
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 5
Hampshire A, Hellyer P, Soreq E, et al., 2021, Associations between dimensions of behaviour, personality traits, and mental-health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, Nature Communications, ISSN: 2041-1723
Sabatini S, Ukoumunne OC, Ballard C, et al., 2021, Cross-sectional association between objective cognitive performance and perceived age-related gains and losses in cognition, INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOGERIATRICS, Vol: 33, Pages: 727-741, ISSN: 1041-6102
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 15
Jolly AE, Hampshire A, 2021, A robust brain signature region approach for episodic memory performance in older adults., Brain, Vol: 144, Pages: 1038-1040, ISSN: 1460-2156
Soreq E, Violante IR, Daws R, et al., 2021, Neuroimaging evidence for a network sampling theory of individual differences in human intelligence, Nature Communications, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723
Despite a century of research, it remains unclear whether human intelligence should be studied as one dominant, several major, or many distinct abilities, and how such abilities relate to the functional organisation of the brain. Here, we combine psychometric and machine learning methods to examine in a data-driven manner how factor structure and individual variability in cognitive-task performance relate to dynamic-network connectomics. We report that 12 sub-tasks from an established intelligence test can be accurately multi-way classified (74%, chance 8.3%) based on the network states that they evoke. The proximities of the tasks in behavioural-psychometric space correlate with the similarities of their network states. Furthermore, the network states were more accurately classified for higher relative to lower performing individuals. These results suggest that the human brain uses a high-dimensional network-sampling mechanism to flexibly code for diverse cognitive tasks. Population variability in intelligence test performance relates to the fidelity of expression of these task-optimised network states.
Lorenz R, Johal M, Dick F, et al., 2021, A Bayesian optimization approach for rapidly mapping residual network function in stroke, BRAIN, Vol: 144, Pages: 2120-2134, ISSN: 0006-8950
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 4
Chamberlain SR, Grant JE, Trender W, et al., 2021, Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in COVID-19 survivors: online population survey, BJPSYCH OPEN, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2056-4724
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 30
Necka E, Gruszka A, Hampshire A, et al., 2021, The Effects of Working Memory Training on Brain Activity, BRAIN SCIENCES, Vol: 11
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 1
Mallas E-J, De Simoni S, Scott G, et al., 2021, Abnormal dorsal attention network activation in memory impairment after traumatic brain injury, Brain: a journal of neurology, Vol: 144, Pages: 114-127, ISSN: 0006-8950
Memory impairment is a common, disabling effect of traumatic brain injury. In healthy individuals, successful memory encoding is associated with activation of the dorsal attention network as well as suppression of the default mode network. Here, in traumatic brain injurypatients we examined whether: i) impairments in memory encoding are associated with abnormal brain activation in these networks; ii) whether changes in this brain activity predict subsequent memory retrieval; and iii) whether abnormal white matter integrity underpinningfunctional networks is associated with impaired subsequent memory. 35 patients with moderate-severetraumatic brain injury aged 23-65 years (74% males) in the post-acute/chronic phase after injury and 16 healthy controls underwent functional MRI during performance of an abstract image memory encoding task. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to assess structural abnormalities across patient groups compared to 28 age-matched healthy controls. Successful memory encoding across all participants was associated with activation of the dorsal attention network, the ventral visual stream and medial temporal lobes. Decreased activation was seen in the default mode network. Patients with preserved episodic memory demonstrated increased activation in areas of the dorsal attention network.Patients with impaired memory showed increased left anterior prefrontal activity. White matter microstructure underpinning connectivity between core nodes of the encoding networks was significantly reduced in patients with memory impairment. Our results show for the first time that patients with impaired episodic memory show abnormal activation of key nodes within the dorsal attention network and regions regulating default mode network activity during encoding. Successful encoding was associated with an opposite direction of signal
Leng F, Hinz R, Dani M, et al., 2020, Tau formation is associated with microglial activation in more widespread cortical areas than amyloid deposition: Multimodal neuroimaging comparison, Alzheimer's and Dementia, ISSN: 1552-5260
Edison P, Leng F, Hinz R, et al., 2020, Influence of microglial activation on structural and functional connectivity in mild cognitive impairment subjects: Development of new models and analysis methods/neuroinflammation, Alzheimer's and Dementia, ISSN: 1552-5260
Di Bella C, Trender W, Hellyer P, et al., 2020, Evaluating cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis, compared to other neurological disorders, using an online cognitive battery, 8th Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS Meeting (MSVirtual), Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, Pages: 502-503, ISSN: 1352-4585
Mew BG, Custovic D, Soreq E, et al., 2020, Mapping the common and distinct neural correlates of visual, rule and motor conflict
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Flexible behaviour requires cognitive-control mechanisms to efficiently resolve conflict between competing information and alternative actions. Whether a global neural resource mediates all forms of conflict or this is achieved within domainspecific systems remains debated. We use a novel fMRI paradigm to orthogonally manipulate rule, response and stimulus-based conflict within a full-factorial design. Whole-brain voxelwise analyses show that activation patterns associated with these conflict types are distinct but partially overlapping within Multiple Demand Cortex (MDC), the brain regions that are most commonly active during cognitive tasks. Region of interest analysis shows that most MDC sub-regions are activated for all conflict types, but to significantly varying levels. We propose that conflict resolution is an emergent property of distributed brain networks, the functional-anatomical components of which place on a continuous, not categorical, scale from domain-specialised to domain general. MDC brain regions place towards one end of that scale but display considerable functional heterogeneity.</jats:p>
Hampshire A, Trender W, Chamberlain SR, et al., 2020, Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to controls: An N=84,285 online study
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Case studies have revealed neurological problems in severely affected COVID-19 patients. However, there is little information regarding the nature and broader prevalence of cognitive problems post-infection or across the full spread of severity. We analysed cognitive test data from 84,285 Great British Intelligence Test participants who completed a questionnaire regarding suspected and biologically confirmed COVID-19 infection. People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group and pre-existing medical disorders. They were of substantial effect size for people who had been hospitalised, but also for mild but biologically confirmed cases who reported no breathing difficulty. Finer grained analyses of performance support the hypothesis that COVID-19 has a multi-system impact on human cognition.</jats:p><jats:sec><jats:title>Significance statement</jats:title><jats:p>There is evidence that COVID-19 may cause long term health changes past acute symptoms, termed ‘long COVID’. Our analyses of detailed cognitive assessment and questionnaire data from tens thousands of datasets, collected in collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19. Individuals who recovered from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 perform worse on cognitive tests in multiple domains than would be expected given their detailed age and demographic profiles. This deficit scales with symptom severity and is evident amongst those without hospital treatment. These results should act as a clarion call for more detailed research investigating the basis of cognitive deficits in people who have survived SARS-COV-2 infection.</jats:p></jats:sec>
Sabatini S, Ukoumunne OC, Ballard C, et al., 2020, International relevance of two measures of awareness of age-related change (AARC), BMC GERIATRICS, Vol: 20
- Author Web Link
- Citations: 15
Stewart GR, Corbett A, Ballard C, et al., 2020, Sleep problems and mental health difficulties in older adults who endorse high autistic traits, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Vol: 77, ISSN: 1750-9467
Background: Sleep problems and mental health difficulties are common in autistic children and young adults. However, these problems have seldom been studied in older autistic adults, or in older adults with elevated autistic traits. Method: Cross-sectional data was examined from 13,897 adults aged 50–81 years taking part in the PROTECT study, who reported whether they experienced persistent socio-communicative autistic traits. Approximately 1%, 187 individuals, were identified as endorsing high autistic traits in childhood and currently, henceforth ‘Autism Spectrum Trait’ (AST) group. An age- and gender-matched comparison group was formed of 6740 individuals who endorsed no autistic traits, henceforth ‘Control Older Adults’ (COA) group. Differences between AST and COA groups were explored in self-reported sleep behaviors, and in depression and anxiety symptoms. Results: AST and COA groups reported similar sleep duration and depth, and nighttime waking frequency. However, the AST group reported significantly more problems with falling asleep, morning drowsiness, and lower sleep quality/satisfaction than COA. More AST adults reported sleep problems past cut-off, as well as clinical levels of depression and anxiety, compared to COA. Adults in both groups who met criteria for high sleep problems experienced more mental health difficulties than those with few sleep problems. However, even amongst those without depression/anxiety, the AST group reported more sleep problems than the COA. Conclusions: These associations suggest that older adults with high autistic traits, like diagnosed autistic children/young adults, may experience poorer sleep and more mental health difficulties than those with low autistic traits. Further work is needed to see whether these results extend to older individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for autism.
Araña-Oiarbide G, Daws RE, Lorenz R, et al., 2020, Preferential activation of the posterior Default-Mode Network with sequentially predictable task switches
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The default-mode network (DMN) has been primarily associated with internally-directed and self-relevant cognition. This perspective is expanding to recognise its importance in executive behaviours like switching. We investigated the effect different task-switching manipulations have on DMN activation in two studies with novel fMRI paradigms. In the first study, the paradigm manipulated visual discriminability, visuo-perceptual distance and sequential predictability during switching. Increased posterior cingulate/precuneus (PCC/PrCC) activity was evident during switching; critically, this was strongest when the occurrence of the switch was predictable. In the second study, we sought to replicate and further investigate this switch-related effect with a fully factorial design manipulating sequential, spatial and visual-feature predictability. Whole-brain analysis again identified a PCC/PrCC-centred cluster that was more active for sequentially predictable versus unpredictable switches, but not for the other predictability dimensions. We propose PCC/PrCC DMN subregions may play a prominent executive role in mapping the sequential structure of complex tasks.</jats:p>
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