A new SNSF grant for the Trajectory project


A new grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation entitled “Longitudinal evolution of cognitive functions following SARS-CoV-2 infection: factors of chronicization” (Swiss National Foundation – 2023 to 2027 – Grant N°: 220041, PI: Péron).

Lay summary

As early as April 2020, the future COVID-COG team postulated the continuing presence of neuropsychological disorders beyond the acute phase of COVID-19. Following the launch of the COVID-COG project in October of that year, we were able to confirm the persistence of cognitive disorders 6-9 months and 12-15 months post-infection. These results have since been confirmed by numerous other cohort studies worldwide indicating that 6 months post-infection, 35.4% of people still display cognitive impairment, and 53% have chronic fatigue, referring to this syndrome as the post-COVID condition. Several questions remain unanswered however regarding the longitudinal evolution of cognitive symptoms following infection over the very long term. The first objective of the Trajectory project is therefore to follow up patients from the COVID-COG cohort, for which the Trajectory project is a follow-up, and track the longitudinal neurocognitive evolution at 3 and 5 years after infection. This will be done through a comprehensive assessments of cognition, emotion, mood, fatigue and quality of life, as well as brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We will categorize patients according to the severity of their respiratory symptoms in the acute phase (severe, moderate, or mild), in line with COVID-COG’s princeps methodology, but we will also consider each patient’s clinical phenotype. Moreover, we will recruit new patients who will also be assessed at 3- and 5-years post-infection. This will give us a larger dataset to analyse, including both the data from these new inclusions and the princeps COVID-COG cohort data. This research program will open up new research avenues for the understanding of the factors of chronicization and enable patients with this syndrome to receive more targeted support. The project will be supervised by Professors Péron and Assal, at the University of Geneva in direct collaboration with the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) for patient recruitment and follow-up, as well as the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne for neuroimaging data analyses. 

Find out more about the COVID-COG project here.