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Treatment of COVID-19 post-acute cognitive impairment sequelae (PASC) with portable brain stimulation: a double-blind, randomized trial

Grant number: 22/08423-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal Investigator:Andre Russowsky Brunoni
Grantee:Adriano Augusto Domingos Neto
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/06009-6 - Non-implantable neuromodulation therapies: a perspective for the depressed brain, AP.TEM


The post-COVID syndrome has become a major health problem due to the extension of the pandemic and the variability of sequelae, generating costs for health systems already overloaded by the pandemic and insecurities regarding the treatment. The lack of knowledge about the pathophysiology of the process and the risk of cognitive decline increase, even more, the concern about this condition. In this context, studies on therapies free from systemic side effects such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and cognitive treatment are of great importance. Thus, the aim of this double-blind randomized clinical trial is to assess whether tDCS associated with cognitive training can improve symptoms in patients with persistent cognitive deficits caused by covid-19 compared to the sham (placebo) group. 60 patients with a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 will be recruited, who will be screened to assess the involvement and, if accepted, will undergo a neuropsychological assessment before and after 4 weeks of therapy, during which they will perform daily 20-min sessions of tDCS associated with a Cognitive training by application. The study will be carried out at the Interdisciplinary Service of Neuromodulation (SIN/EMT) of the Institute of Psychiatry, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (IPq-HC/FMUSP). We hypothesize that tDCS combined with cognitive training will be effective to treat cognitive deficits up to six months after COVID-19 infection.(AU)

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