Doctors are sounding the alarm about the increased risks of dying of a cerebral vascular accident (STROKE) that face people in their thirties and forties are reached, even without symptoms, the COVID-19.
The surgeons of Thomas Jefferson university, in Philadelphia, published this morning in the journal Neurosurgery the results of a preliminary study on 14 patients with the COVID-19 who have suffered a STROKE between march 20 and April 10.
Half of these 14 patients did not even know that they were suffering from the COVID-19 prior to their hospitalization.
“We see patients in their thirties, forties, and fifties who suffer from STROKE, major that you typically see in people 70 or 80 years,” says Pascal Jabbour, the principal author of the study.
“Although we must insist on the fact that our observations are preliminary, what we have seen is disturbing. Young people, who may not even be that they have the coronavirus, develop clots that cause a STROKE severe. We need to alert the medical personnel of first-line and population,” he added.
The study highlights that patients presenting with symptoms of STROKE should delay their entry to the hospital for fear of contracting the coronavirus, while there is a slim period of time to treat a STROKE.
Six of the 14 study patients died (43%), whereas the typical level of mortality for a STROKE is usually 5 to 10% in the United States.
The same percentage of the group, 43%, was under the age of 50 years, while in the United States more than 75% of STROKE cases occur in people over 65 years of age.
In addition, the patients group were suffering from blockages in large vessels in the two hemispheres of the brain, as arteries, veins, unusual observations in victims of STROKE.
The team of Dr Jabbeur think that the virus can interfere with the protein ACE2, access point to the coronavirus, which is highly present in blood vessels. It could also be that the inflammation of the blood vessels causes micro-clots.
Sherry H-Y Chou, a neurologist from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, wondered if the clots were the result of a direct attack on the blood vessels or if it was “a problem of friendly fire”.
“In an attempt to fight off the virus, is the immune response ends up damaging your brain?”, she questioned, as reported by the Washington Post at the end of April, when the findings were beginning to be made on the ground.
J Mocco, a researcher at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, told the same newspaper that the number of patients who had achieved in his institution with significant blockages in the vessels of the brain has doubled to more than 32 compared to the normal during the three weeks the most intense of the outbreak. And, even if the number of other emergency was in decline. More than half of these patients were affected by the COVID-19.
The link between the COVID-19 and the STROKE “is one of the correlations, the clearest and the deepest that I have ever met. It is a signal too strong to be due to chance or random,” said Mr. Mocco.