Cognitive Neuroscience of Neuroinfectious Diseases
Infectious diseases, particularly those involving viral pathogens, involve infiltration of CNS structures. Increasing suspicion of hypoxic-related neuronal infiltration has been documented in COVID-19. Increasingly effective treatments for hypoxia and prophylactic vaccinations with improved efficacy will result in greater survival rates of COVID-19 patients. The burden of COVID-19 disease impacts the employed adult population with the likelihood that lingering cognitive sequelae requires investigation and redress as the world assumes normality in the various work arenas. Whilst the effects of COVID-19 on cognitive functions and hence employability are strongly suspected, no systematic theoretical framework of the underlying neuropathological processes and pathways and approaches to assessment have been offered. This abstract proposes Luria’s Model of Neuropsychological Functioning (Luria, 1980) as a broad framework to investigate and document the neurocognitive effects of neuroinfectious diseases such as COVID-19. The authors acknowledge that, with increasing knowledge of the diverse symptom patterns associated with disease process underlying COVID-19, the framework of neurocognitive assessment will need to undergo refinement to provide a succinct synopsis of the cognitive capacity of survivors of this disease to inform best medical practices and the decisions facing other sectors such as employers.