Dozens of coronavirus patients in the United Kingdom suffered serious neurological complications regardless of the severity of other virus symptoms, according to a British research study as reported in The Guardian.
A UK research study recently published in the journal Brain reported that researchers began collecting data on 43 COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms in March as more and more data of neurological symptoms associated with the coronavirus was recorded.
The 43 coronavirus patients suffered from various neurological complications, including stroke, nerve damage, brain inflammation and delirium and experienced symptoms such as psychosis, seizures, delusions, hallucinations, strokes, vision problems, and confusion. The patients in the study were all ill from the coronavirus but their condition ranged from mildly ill to critically ill. Their neurological symptoms appeared as early as six days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and up to 27 days afterward.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19 was not found in the cerebrospinal brain fluid of any of the patients in the study, which indicates that the virus was not the direct cause of the neurological symptoms. Researchers believe that the brain inflammation was likely caused by the patient’s immune response to the virus.
“We’re seeing things in the way COVID-19 affects the brain that we haven’t seen before with other viruses,” said Dr. Michael Zandi, one of the study’s senior researchers and a consultant at University College London’s Institute of Neurology and UCL Hospitals NHS foundation trust
“We identified a higher than expected number of people with neurological conditions such as brain inflammation, which did not always correlate with the severity of respiratory symptoms.”
“We should be vigilant and look out for these complications in people who have had Covid-19. Whether we will see an epidemic on a large scale of brain damage linked to the pandemic – perhaps similar to the encephalitis lethargica outbreak in the 1920s and 1930s after the 1918 influenza pandemic – remains to be seen.”
Following the Spanish flu pandemic, there was a marked increase in neurological illnesses among recovered flu patients. About a million people were reported to suffer from the neurological illness encephalitis lethargica, beginning around the same time as the onset of the Spanish flu and continuing until the early 1930s.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)