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Covid-19: more common brain complications than previously thought

Published July 11, 2020 at. 02:33.

Stroke, illusions, hallucinations or nerve damage … brain problems related to Covid-19 may be more common than researchers have first noticed. A new study from University College London (UCL) and published in the professional journal Brain suggests that serious problems can also occur in patients with mild forms.

Until the publication of this research, only serious Covid-19 infections were known to have the risk of neurological complications. Finally, the study reveals that the onset of neurological disorders is not always correlated with the severity of respiratory symptoms.

Neurological symptoms in 43 patients

This study was conducted on the basis of the observation of neurological symptoms in 43 patients admitted for a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 disease. Among them were ten cases of temporary brain dysfunction, twelve cases of brain inflammation, eight strokes and eight cases of nerve damage.

Most of these inflammation patients have been diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM, also known as post-infectious encephalitis), a rare condition commonly seen in children after viral infections.

However, experts are reassuring. Although this new work suggests that brain complications may be more common, they point out that it does not mean it is widespread. “The great attention paid to this pandemic makes it highly unlikely that there will be a major parallel pandemic of unusual brain damage linked to Covid-19,” explains Anthony David, director of the UCL Institute of Mental Health.

With AFP

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