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Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: A prospective study

Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: A prospective study
Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: A prospective study
Observational and experimentally induced infection studies show that upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) affect mood and cognition. This study tested the effects of naturally occurring URTI on cognition, mood and emotional processing, using a prospective design, with a broader array of tests than previous research, and with well matched control participants. Eighty participants (42 younger, M age 20.3 years; 38 older, M age 64.3 years) underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline. Once a participant had URTI symptoms, s/he and a healthy, matched participant were retested. The Cognitive Drug Research computerised assessment battery was used to assess Power and Continuity of Attention, Quality of Episodic and Working Memory, Speed of Memory, and mood. Additionally, emotional processing was measured on matching of emotionally-negative faces with faces and faces with labels. Forty-two of 80 participants were matched (21 well, 21 ill). Well participants improved in Speed of Memory and face–label reaction time. Despite a lack of fever, ill participants demonstrated significantly smaller improvements. Older participants reported feeling less alert if ill, and less stressed if well, than at baseline. All ill participants reported less contentment than at baseline than well participants. Severity of URTI symptoms correlated with changes in Speed of Memory and mood. Even without fever, infectious disease produces large disturbances in speed of cognitive processing, particularly that reflecting retrieval from memory, and these effects are more marked in older participants. URTIs also affect mood. Future studies need to examine the role of inflammatory molecules and the brain regions implicated in mediating these findings.
mood, cognition, emotion processing, upper respiratory tract infection, ageing
0889-1591
399-407
Bucks, Romola. S.
36d5329d-1cce-46ab-bfdf-9f6680eb09a1
Gidron, Yori
56310d95-dcfd-4178-95f1-1b1049f4c1f7
Harris, Petra
0e15de29-ece4-43e6-9861-4e20bcee5acd
Teeling, Jessica
fcde1c8e-e5f8-4747-9f3a-6bdb5cd87d0a
Wesnes, Keith. A.
9ad44193-592f-4f3a-97ab-4d28f154d5c4
Perry, V. Hugh
8f29d36a-8e1f-4082-8700-09483bbaeae4
Bucks, Romola. S.
36d5329d-1cce-46ab-bfdf-9f6680eb09a1
Gidron, Yori
56310d95-dcfd-4178-95f1-1b1049f4c1f7
Harris, Petra
0e15de29-ece4-43e6-9861-4e20bcee5acd
Teeling, Jessica
fcde1c8e-e5f8-4747-9f3a-6bdb5cd87d0a
Wesnes, Keith. A.
9ad44193-592f-4f3a-97ab-4d28f154d5c4
Perry, V. Hugh
8f29d36a-8e1f-4082-8700-09483bbaeae4

Bucks, Romola. S., Gidron, Yori, Harris, Petra, Teeling, Jessica, Wesnes, Keith. A. and Perry, V. Hugh (2008) Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: A prospective study. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 22 (3), 399-407. (doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2007.09.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Observational and experimentally induced infection studies show that upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) affect mood and cognition. This study tested the effects of naturally occurring URTI on cognition, mood and emotional processing, using a prospective design, with a broader array of tests than previous research, and with well matched control participants. Eighty participants (42 younger, M age 20.3 years; 38 older, M age 64.3 years) underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline. Once a participant had URTI symptoms, s/he and a healthy, matched participant were retested. The Cognitive Drug Research computerised assessment battery was used to assess Power and Continuity of Attention, Quality of Episodic and Working Memory, Speed of Memory, and mood. Additionally, emotional processing was measured on matching of emotionally-negative faces with faces and faces with labels. Forty-two of 80 participants were matched (21 well, 21 ill). Well participants improved in Speed of Memory and face–label reaction time. Despite a lack of fever, ill participants demonstrated significantly smaller improvements. Older participants reported feeling less alert if ill, and less stressed if well, than at baseline. All ill participants reported less contentment than at baseline than well participants. Severity of URTI symptoms correlated with changes in Speed of Memory and mood. Even without fever, infectious disease produces large disturbances in speed of cognitive processing, particularly that reflecting retrieval from memory, and these effects are more marked in older participants. URTIs also affect mood. Future studies need to examine the role of inflammatory molecules and the brain regions implicated in mediating these findings.

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More information

Published date: March 2008
Keywords: mood, cognition, emotion processing, upper respiratory tract infection, ageing

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 56323
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/56323
ISSN: 0889-1591
PURE UUID: 1fbb2067-3a78-40ca-8f84-a97a321a7f8c
ORCID for Jessica Teeling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4004-7391

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Aug 2008
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019 01:50

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