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JH PACT Research Studies

A study to assess physical, mental and cognitive impairments in kidney transplant patients who had COVID-19 infection

Summary: People with solid organ transplants are at high risk of developing COVID-19, but the long-term neurocognitive aspects of COVID-19 infection (such as anosmia, loss of taste, loss of hearing, headaches, mental “fogginess,” confusion and fatigue) in this population is still not fully understood.

This study aims to: 1) Estimate the prevalence of mental, cognitive and physical impairments in solid organ transplant patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the short-term and long-term period; and 2) understand changes in mental, cognitive and physical impairment in solid organ transplant patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the long-term. 

P.I.Sami Alasfar, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Cognitive assessment in COVID positive patients using the DANA app

Summary: The long-term impacts of COVID-19 are increasingly appreciated to be systemic and persistent among certain populations, and existing evidence suggests that following hospitalization, COVID-19 survivors may most frequently demonstrate deficits in letter-cued verbal fluency and executive function.

The goal of this study is to evaluate to post-acute trajectory of cognitive function in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 using the Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA), a battery of cognitive tests delivered via an electronic tablet or smartphone that individuals can complete independently at home without supervision. As a result, this technology bypasses many of the limitations associated with in-person cognitive exams during a global infectious disease pandemic.

P.I.: Anupama Kumar, M.B.B.S.

Long-term impact in the intensive care survivors of Coronavirus Disease-19 (The AFTERCOR Study)

Summary: Recent data suggests that survivors of COVID-19 report adverse health status, including neurological and cognitive deficits and impaired pulmonary function, even months after discharge. Adult COVID-19 survivors after ICU stay are at higher risk of long-term disabilities and impaired quality of life. Post-hospitalization assessments are important to identify persistent deficits and stagnation in recover, since this may be amenable for early intervention and targeted rehabilitation.

This study aims to describe the health-related quality of life and the dynamics of neurologic and pulmonary dysfunction and recovery following intensive care admission for COVID-19. The study team will complete a baseline assessment of participants’ health prior to ICU admission, and then participants will complete a series of additional assessments (surveys, brain MRI, PFTs, chest x-ray, etc.) at three time points post-discharge.

P.I.Sung-Min Cho, D.O., M.H.S. Contact:

Symptoms and biomarkers of long COVID in people living with HIV

Summary: No studies of post-acute COVID-19 symptoms and sequelae have focused specifically on people living with HIV (PWH). Given elevated baseline levels of inflammation and T-cell activation in this population, we hypothesize that PWH are more likely to experience persistent symptoms after acute COVID-19 than HIV negative people.

This is part of a national study conducted remotely with telephone and online surveys and blood samples collected via a mobile phlebotomy company at the participant’s home. Specifically, this study aims to: 1) formally and prospectively characterize symptoms and sequelae of post-acute COVID-19 in PWH as compared to HIV-negative COVID-19 survivors and PWH and HIV-negative people with no history of COVID-19; and 2) identify blood-based biomarkers or immune signature(s) that associate with prolonged or persistent post-acute COVID-19 symptoms in PWH in comparison with the general population.

P.I.Annie Antar, M.D., Ph.D.

COVID Patient Registry

Summary: The goal of the COVID Patient Registry is to collect data on individuals who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are seen for follow up care at Johns Hopkins. We hope to understand the natural history of the illness and ultimately improve the care and survival of those who were treated for COVID-19 to improve understanding, treatment and survival.

P.I.Ann Parker, M.D., Ph.D.

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