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Abstract #0732

Persistent anosmia following COVID-19 results in significant connectivity differences within olfactory regions: a resting state fMRI analysis

Jed Wingrove1,2, Janine Makaronidis1,2, Ferran Prados2,3,4, Baris Kanber2,3,4, Marios C Yiannakas3, Gloria Castellazzi3,5,6, Claudia AM Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott3,7,8, and Rachel Batterham1,2
1Centre for Obesity Research, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 2Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH and UCL, National Institute for Health Research, London, United Kingdom, 3NMR Research Unit, Queen Square MS Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 4Centre for Medical Image Computing, Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 5Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, 6IRCCS C., Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy, 7Brain Connectivity Centre, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy, 8Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


Anosmia or loss of smell is a common COVID-19 symptom. We studied a group of individuals with persistent anosmia and those who had recovered olfactory function following COVID-19 infection as well as healthy volunteers. Using resting state EPI and seed based analysis we found significant differences in connectivity between olfactory nodes and prefrontal regions known to be involved in smell processing. Furthermore, our analysis also identified connectivity differences between olfactory regions and brain areas involved in appetite control, highlighting areas of the brain that may be affected by COVID-19 related anosmia.

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