Defogging Post-COVID Cognitive Dysfunction: Potential Mechanisms, Diagnostic Challenges

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Drug Discovery & Development, Biomarkers, Healthcare, Fundamental Research,
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Long COVID has many terms, such as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), commonly known as post-acute COVID-19, long hauler COVID, post-COVID syndrome, post-COVID condition, and chronic COVID-19 to name a few. It refers to patients that continue to have symptoms or develop new symptoms after recovering from an acute COVID infection. The third webinar in our series on long COVID will explore cognitive dysfunction, also referred to colloquially as brain fog.

The impact of post-COVID cognitive dysfunction on society is still unknown as research into the syndrome is in its infancy. This webinar will provide insight into the pathophysiology of post-COVID cognitive dysfunction, common symptoms, and diagnostic tools to help identify patients. We will also explore potential biomarkers and endpoints that may be used in clinical trials as well as hear from a patient with Post-COVID cognitive dysfunction.


  • Review current understanding of the natural history of Post-COVID cognitive dysfunction from a biological perspective
  • Critically appraise current diagnostic tools and potential biomarkers that can assist in future research and diagnosis/treatment
  • Discuss measurement of subjective and objective cognitive function as endpoints in Post-COVID cognitive dysfunction clinical trials
  • Hear from a Patient Advocacy Group Leader regarding patient directed survey research on cognitive dysfunction in Long-Haulers and how their lives have been affected


Michael Peluso, MD, University of California

Michael Peluso, MD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine

Dr. Peluso is an infectious disease clinical-translational physician-scientist and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. His primary interests are COVID-19 and HIV.  Dr. Peluso is managing a large observational study of people who previously had SARS-CoV-2 infection with the goal of understanding the long-term biological and immunological consequences of COVID-19. In addition, he is currently involved with clinical and laboratory research aimed at understanding the HIV reservoir and implementing clinical trials to disrupt the reservoir with the aim of inducing antiretroviral therapy-free HIV remission.

Message Presenter
Natalie Lambert, PhD, Indiana University

Natalie Lambert, PhD, Associate Research Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Lambert is a communication expert and medical researcher with over 10 years of experience discovering the social, attitudinal, and environmental factors of health by engaging with hundreds of thousands of patients via innovative channels and methodologies. As an associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Lambert researches the symptomatology and health impacts of long COVID (also called PASC). Her research is focused on understanding patients’ experiences with chronic disease, and she does this by collaborating with patient groups and engaging with patients in online spaces. Dr. Lambert uses computational analytics and her health communication expertise to create research-based, innovative patient engagement strategies.

Current Projects Include:

  • Conducting COVID-19 research by engaging with COVID survivors in Survivor Corps, a patient advocacy group with 170,000+ members
  • Characterization of long COVID sequelae and health impacts
  • Creation of models explaining factors related to patient dissatisfaction while seeking medical care
  • Capture of weight loss and exercise behavior change “pivots” via analysis of successful behavior change narratives in peer-to-peer online spaces
  • Identification of communication factors that predict successful peer support in a peer support platform for adolescents experiencing maltreatment
  • Identification of the best algorithms for topic modeling of unstructured health narratives collected from peer-to-peer online communities
  • Assessing unmet information needs of women just diagnosed with breast cancer
Message Presenter
Paul Maruff, PhD, Cogstate

Paul Maruff, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer, Cogstate

Professor Paul Maruff is one of the founders of Cogstate and served as Chief Science Officer before taking on the role of Chief Innovation Officer. He is a neuropsychologist with expertise in the identification and measurement of subtle behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. Paul’s research integrates conventional and computerized neuropsychological testing with cognitive neuroscientific methods to guide decision making in drug development and in clinical medicine.

He has worked extensively on method to identify subtle neurocognitive impairment, and to assess the efficacy of pharmacological treatment, in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and the HIV dementia complex. He has extended this approach to identify cognitive dysfunction, and monitor treatment efficacy in psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression in adults, attention deficit disorder, developmental dyspraxia and substance abuse in children.

Paul remains an active researcher. He is appointed Professor at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health. He is currently clinical co-chair of the Australian Imaging Biomakers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study. Paul has published over 450 research articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has co-authored 15 book chapters.

Message Presenter

(Moderator) Elizabeth Merikle, Vice President, Product Dev & MA Consulting, Labcorp Inc.

Merikle has over 20 years’ experience in health economics and outcomes research, instrument development and validation, and health services research, in industry, academia, and consulting. Dr. Merikle leads Labcorp Drug Development’s Patient Centered Assessment consulting group, which assists client companies with patient-focused assessment and regulatory strategy within the context of clinical development in the US and Europe, executes qualitative and quantitative studies to support labeling claims based on these endpoints, and develops data on patient experience. She recently directed a successful qualitative and quantitative research program for the use of a PRO instrument as a co-primary endpoint with biomarker to support approval.  Dr. Merikle has experience in PROs within neurology, psychiatry, cardiovascular, endocrinology, urology, and rare diseases. Dr. Merikle has co-authored over 30 peer reviewed publications across a range of therapeutic areas. Before joining Labcorp Drug Development’s she was a senior director in the outcomes research group at Takeda Pharmaceuticals leading the neuroscience outcomes research team.  Dr. Merikle received her MA in cognitive psychology and her PhD in program evaluation and research methodology from the University of Arizona.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Senior Medical Director
  • Medical Director
  • Clinical Development Director
  • Research and Development Director
  • Operational Director
  • Senior Operational Director
  • Clinical Director
  • Senior Clinical Director
  • Research Director
  • Health Economic and Outcomes Research Director
  • Principal Investigator
  • Site Coordinator

What You Will Learn

After this webinar, participants will:

  • Have high level understanding of Post-COVID subjective and objective cognitive dysfunction
  • Gain insights into which biomarkers and endpoints should be considered for clinical trial designs in Post-COVID cognitive impairment
  • Appreciate how Post-COVID cognitive dysfunction impacts patients’ quality of life

Xtalks Partner


Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. Learn more about Labcorp at or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @Labcorp.

You Must Login To Register for this Free Webinar

Already have an account? LOGIN HERE. If you don’t have an account you need to create a free account.

Create Account