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Serious neurological symptoms in 13% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients – The Jerusalem Post

A peer-reviewed study published in April in the journal Critical Care Explorations found a correlation between neurologic conditions and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. 

It is well-established that those with pre-existing conditions affecting the cardiovascular system or the immune system are more likely to become seriously ill or hospitalized due to contracting COVID-19.  This new international study examined otherwise healthy patients who developed neurological impairments after being admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Of the more than 16,000 patients examined, 13% developed serious neurological conditions including, most commonly, encephalopathy at admission.  Encephalopathy is an umbrella term for brain disease or damage that causes a marked change in the way the brain works, or how the brain and body interact. 

Researchers also observed, in addition to encephalopathy, stroke, seizure and meningitis/encephalitis – the latter two are both conditions that are characterized by inflammation of or around the brain, and were counted in the same category.  All of these neurologic manifestations were much less common than encephalitis, and were also all associated with increased ICU support needs and more severe disease in general. 

“Given the association of neurologic manifestations with poorer outcomes,” concluded author Dr. Anna Cervantes-Arslanian, “further study is desperately needed to understand why these differences occur and what can be done to intervene.”

 Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) 

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