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EEG Signatures of COVID-19 Survival compared to close contacts and the Cuban EEG normative database


Background: The EEG constitutes a powerful neuroimaging technique for assessing functional brain impairment in COVID-19 patients. Objective: The current investigation compared the EEG among COVID-19 survivors, close contacts and the Cuban EEG normative database, using semi-quantitative visual EEG inspection, quantitative and the current source density measures EEG analysis. Methods: The resting-state EEG activity, quantitative QEEG, and VARETA inverse solution, were evaluated in 173 subjects: 87 patients confirmed cases by the positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), 86 close contacts (negative PCR) and the Cuban EEG normative database. All patients were physical, neurological, and clinically assessed using neurological retrospective survey and version 2.1 of the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). Results: The GTE score showed significant differences in terms of frequency scores of backgrounds rhythmic activity, diffuse slow activity, and focal abnormality. The QEEG analysis showed a pattern of abnormality with respect to the Cuban EEG normative values, displaying an excess of alpha and beta activities in the fronto-central-parietal areas in both groups. The anomalies, of COVID-19 patients and close contacts, differs in the right fronto-centro parietal area. The COVID 19 group differed-s from the close control group in theta band of the right parieto-central. The symptomatic group of COVID-19 patients differs from asymptomatic patients in delta and theta activities of the parieto-central region. The sources of activation using VARETA showed a difference in cortical activation patterns at alpha and beta frequencies in the groups studied with respect to the normative EEG database. In beta frequency were localized in right middle temporal gyrus in both groups and right angular gyrus in Covid 19 group only. In alpha band, the regions were the left supramarginal gyrus for Covid 19 group and the left superior temporal gyrus for Control group. Greater activation was found in the right middle temporal gyrus at alpha frequency in COVID-19 patients than in their close contacts.