Scientists Warn Of COVID-Related Brain Disorders

The Guardian reports:

Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned.

Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of more than 40 UK Covid-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. In some cases, the neurological problem was the patient’s first and main symptom.

The cases, published in the journal Brain, revealed a rise in a life-threatening condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (Adem), as the first wave of infections swept through Britain.

Agence France-Presse reports:

The research showed that none of patients diagnosed with neurological problems had COVID-19 in their cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting that the virus did not directly attack their brains.

Perhaps crucially, the team found that ADEM diagnoses “not related to the severity of the respiratory COVID-19 disease”. With more than 11 million confirmed infections worldwide, COVID-19 is known to cause a variety of health complications in addition to lung infection.

“Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause,” said Ross Paterson from UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology.