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2022 Neuropsychological Effects of COVID-19 in Older Adults from Health Disparity Populations (NAN)

Biomarkers of COVID-19 Induced Cognitive Loss in Diverse Older Populations

How does COVID-19 infection impact cognition in diverse populations of older adults?

Clara Li, Ph.D., M.A.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY - United States


Older adults have been found to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Studies show that some older adults with COVID-19 may experience lasting cognitive deficits following infection, such as impairments in attention, executive function  (a group of mental processes that include controlling attention and regulating impulsive behavior), language and memory.

Studies have also found that a range of psychosocial factors, including socioeconomic status and mental health, may impact an individual’s risk for severe COVID-19. Understanding the factors that influence COVID-19 impact is necessary for preventing long term implications among the most vulnerable groups; however, post-infection cognitive impairment among older adults, especially among racially and ethnically diverse groups, is not well studied.

Research Plan

Dr. Clara Li and colleagues will study the cognitive impacts of COVID-19 infection in groups of racially and ethnically diverse older adults. The researchers will evaluate 100 older adults at Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 Biobank. In addition, they will use data from a group of cognitively unimpaired, racially and ethnically diverse older adults for comparison.

Dr. Li and team will compare the cognitive performance of individuals recovered from COVID-19 infection with that of cognitively unimpaired, non-COVID-19-infected older adults. Next, the researchers will study the association between COVID-19 and cognition and identify demographic and psychosocial factors that influence the cognitive impacts of COVID-19 infection.


The results of this project may shed light on the long-term cognitive effects of COVID-19 infection in racially and ethnically diverse older adults.

The NeuroCOVID Grant Program was developed jointly with the Alzheimer's Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

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