The novel coronavirus has the potential to cause brain damage in patients, say neurologists six months after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world.
The infection was earlier known to affect the respiratory system only.
Neurologists, studying the virus, have said that the new evidence suggests that COVID-19 patients have shown signs of brain complications including confusion, stroke and inflammation of the brain, during and after recovering from the infection.
The Lancet Neurology recently published a study in which it was found that strokes, delirium and other neurological complications were reported from most countries where large outbreaks of COVID-19 were reported.
Such cases were reported from countries like China, Italy and the US and it was found that around 1,000 patients with COVID-19-associated brain, spinal cord and nerve diseases.
“Encephalopathy has been reported for 93 patients in total, including 16 (7 per cent) of 214 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, and 40 (69 per cent) of 58 patients in intensive care with COVID-19 in France,” reported India Today stating the study by National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
“Encephalitis has been described in eight patients to date, and Guillain-Barré syndrome in 19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the CSF of some patients. Anosmia and ageusia are common, and can occur in the absence of other clinical features,” the study added.
“Unexpectedly, acute cerebrovascular disease is also emerging as an important complication, with cohort studies reporting stroke in 2-6 per cent of patients hospitalised with COVID-19,” the study added.
“So far, 96 patients with stroke have been described, who frequently had vascular events in the context of a pro-inflammatory hypercoagulable state with elevated C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and ferritin,” the study titled Neurological associations of COVID-19 further added.