COVID-19: brain problems are possible even in benign forms

COVID-19: problèmes cérébraux possibles même dans des formes bénignes

Complications of the COVID-19 affecting the brain, potentially fatal, such as stroke, delirium, hallucinations or nerve damage, may be more common than we originally thought, warned on Wednesday a team of doctors in the uk.

Severe infections the COVID-19 are known to carry risks of neurological complications, but research conducted by the University College London (UCL) suggest that serious problems may arise even in those with mild forms.

The team has been focused on the neurological symptoms of 43 patients hospitalized for a disease COVID-19 confirmed or suspected. Among them, ten cases of brain dysfunction for a temporary, twelve cases of inflammation of the brain, eight cerebral vascular accidents (STROKE) and eight cases of nerve damage.

Most of these patients with inflammation have received a diagnosis of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), also called encephalitis, post-infectious), a rare disease usually seen in children after viral infections.

“We have identified a higher than expected number of people with neurological disorders (…), which were not always correlated with the severity of respiratory symptoms,” according to Michael Zandi, the Queen Square Institute of Neurology of UCL.

The study, published in the journal Brain, shows that none of the patients diagnosed with neurological problems had virus COVID-19 in the cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting that the virus did not attack directly to their brain.

“Given that the disease exists only in the past few months, we do not yet know what long-term damage the COVID-19 can cause,” notes Ross Paterson at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology of UCL. “Physicians need to be aware of the neurological effects as possible, because an early diagnosis can improve the health outcomes of patients. “

With more than 11 million confirmed infections in the world, it is known that, in addition to pulmonary involvement, the disease COVID-19 can cause a variety of complications.

Even if these new works suggest that cerebral complications may be more common than previously thought, experts point out that this does not mean that it is very widespread. “The very great attention to this pandemic, it is very unlikely that there is a great pandemic parallel brain lesions are unusual related to the COVID-19 “, for Anthony David, director of the Institute of mental health, UCL.

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