There is firm epidemiological and clinical evidence that survivors of COVID-19 are at an increased risk of long-term clinical symptoms (i.e., LongCOVID-19), amongst other neurological and neuropsychological symptoms. The prevalence of LongCOVID-19 in the general population is a matter of ongoing investigation but was as high as ~70% in follow-up studies of hospitalised patients. In non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, evidence depends on the study design but appears to be substantial. Hence, there is a strong need to obtain robust, deeply phenotyped clinical data on the neurological and neuropsychological long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, NeuroCOV will carry out five clinical studies across Europe.
Neurological Manifestations of LongCOVID-19 in Germany – An Observational Study
A community-based multicentric study is being conducted at the Departments of Neurology in Bonn and Berlin (Germany). The aim is to clinically characterise and longitudinally quantify the impact of Long-COVID on brain health. Patients with either ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 syndrome whose initial diagnosis was confirmed by PCR testing and who are 18 or older are eligible. The trial will run for 4 years and actively recruit patients within the first three years (n=1000). An estimated group of 350 patients per year will be included, with a sex distribution reflecting the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the general population.
Individual Vulnerability of the Central Nervous System to SARSCoV2 in Italy
A community-based multicentric study is being conducted at clinics in the two hospitals affiliated with the University of Milan (Italy): the Humanitas Research Hospital (HRH) and the Luigi Sacco University Hospital (SACCO). The aim of the study is to clinically and biologically characterise the impact of Long-COVID on neurological signs and symptoms in a longitudinal prospective cohort. Patients with either ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 or Post-COVID syndrome whose initial diagnosis was confirmed by PCR testing and who are 18 or older are eligible. The trial will run for 4 years and actively recruit patients within the first three years (n=1000). An estimated group of 350 patients per year will be included, with a sex distribution reflecting the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the general population.
Post-COVID Syndrome in Sweden
A retrospective observational study will leverage the unique nationwide registers of Sweden to investigate health-related consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the population. The study applies an exploratory framework that is not limited to specific outcomes or selected individuals. Therefore, all those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection in Sweden will be included. This data, starting from the beginning of the pandemic and updated annually for 10 years, will be retrieved from SmiNet from the Swedish Public Health Agency. The overall aim of the research is to define the most common diseases developed by individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and assess the risk factors for developing Post-COVID syndrome.
NEUROPATH-COVID – A Post-mortem Study of Neuropathology in COVID-19
To unravel how COVID-19 impacts on the central nervous system short- and long-term, the NEUROPATH-COVID study is collecting post-mortem, body fluids (cerebrospinal fluid and blood) and skin biopsies from patients who died because, with or following COVID-19. The autopsy will be performed within 24 hours after death to ensure the sampled material’s quality for structural and cellular analysis. The Excellence Center for Post-mortem Diagnostics of the Amsterdam UMC (Netherlands) is expected to collect about 20 adult and 5 fetal brains per year, as this number is sufficient to perform (quantitative) pathological, high-end microscopic, and molecular-mechanistic studies.
Predict-Covid – A Retrospective, Registry-Based Study That Covers the Entire Finnish Population
Nationally and internationally, research on the consequences of COVID-19 is insufficient and still developing, especially concerning health and economic outcomes. Even in countries with nationwide registries, data are distributed between different authorities and, therefore, not holistically available.
The PREDICT-COVID study will leverage the unique nationwide registers of Finland and build cross-registry data to explore the short- and long-term economic consequences of COVID-19 and COVID-19 control measures, and indirect health and labor market shocks related to the pandemic.