COVID-19 may show neurological symptoms before respiratory issues: Study

These studies will provide the foundation on how to diagnose, manage and treat the many neurologic manifestations of COVID-19.

COVID-19 may show neurological symptoms before respiratory issues: Study

Chicago: A Northwestern Medicine study suggests that coronavirus poses a worldwide threat to the whole systema nervosum , and its neurological symptoms may appear before fever or cough.

A review of neurological symptoms of COVID-19 patients within the current scientific literature was conducted and therefore the results were published in the week in Annals of Neurology.

About half hospitalized patients have neurological manifestations of COVID-19, which include headache, dizziness, decreased alertness, difficulty concentrating, disorders of smell and taste, seizures, strokes, weakness, and muscle pain.

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"It`s important for the overall public and physicians to remember of this, because a SARS-COV-2 infection may present with neurologic symptoms initially, before any fever, cough or respiratory problems occur," said lead author of the review, Dr Igor Koralnik, Northwestern Medicine chief of neuro-infectious diseases and global neurology.

The review describes the various neurological conditions which will occur in COVID-19 patients and the way to diagnose them, also as likely pathogenic mechanisms.

"This understanding is vital to direct appropriate clinical management and treatment," said Koralnik, who is additionally a professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of drugs .

The disease may affect the whole systema nervosum , including the brain, medulla spinalis , and nerves also because the muscles. There are many various ways COVID-19 can cause neurological dysfunction, he said. Because this disease may affect multiple organs (lung, kidney, heart), the brain can also suffer from lack of oxygenation or from clotting disorders which will cause ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes.

In addition, the virus may cause direct infection of the brain and meninges. Finally, the reaction of the system to the infection may cause inflammation which will damage the brain and nerves.

Koralnik and colleagues have formed a Neuro-COVID research team and began a retrospective analysis of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Northwestern Medicine to work out the frequency and sort of neurological complications, also as response to treatment.

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Since the knowledge about the future outcome of neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 is restricted , Koralnik also will follow a number of those patients prospectively in his new outpatient Neuro-COVID clinic to work out if neurological problems are temporary or permanent.

These studies will provide the inspiration on the way to diagnose, manage and treat the various neurologic manifestations of COVID-19, he said.(ANE)