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COVID-19 may present neurologic symptoms before respiratory issues: Study

Video Credit: ANI - Duration: 01:21s - Published
COVID-19 may present neurologic symptoms before respiratory issues: Study

COVID-19 may present neurologic symptoms before respiratory issues: Study

Coronavirus poses a global threat to the entire nervous system, and neurological symptoms may appear before fever or cough, according to a Northwestern Medicine study.

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

About half of hospitalized patients have neurological manifestations of COVID19, which include headache, dizziness, decreased alertness, difficulty concentrating, disorders of smell and taste, seizures, strokes, weakness, and muscle pain.

The disease may affect the entire nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves as well as the muscles.

There are many different ways COVID19 can cause neurological dysfunction, he said.

Because this disease may affect multiple organs (lung, kidney, heart), the brain may also suffer from lack of oxygenation or from clotting disorders that may lead to ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes.

In addition, the virus may cause a direct infection of the brain and meninges.

Finally, the reaction of the immune system to the infection may cause inflammation that can damage the brain and nerves.

Koralnik and colleagues have formed a Neuro-COVID research team and started a retrospective analysis of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Northwestern Medicine to determine the frequency and type of neurological complications, as well as response to treatment.

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

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