The outbreak of coronavirus has major effects on the respiratory system. However, the effects of the coronavirus have been extended beyond the respiratory system. The disease also affects the neurological system. The patient diagnosed with a neurological condition even after six months of getting infected by COVID-19.
According to the analysis of the University of Oxford, there have been 236,379 reports recorded for COVID-19 infected patients in last year. The Lancet Psychiatry journal report that 17% of patients were diagnosed with anxiety and 14% patients with mood disorders. About 2% of patient were also diagnosed with dementia.
Researchers find the spike in encephalomyelitis that can be triggered by the viral infection. The rare inflammatory neurological condition also increases in patients due to the pandemic.
Effect Of Covid-19 On Neurological Health
Critical illness and encephalopathy
Patient having difficulty in breathing or may require ventilators and high blood pressure are considered to be critically ill. These patients need specialized intensive care. The organs of these patients might stop working altogether. The brain is one of those organs. The impaired brain can develop encephalopathy due to underlying Illness such as COVID-19. Encephalopathy has low survival rates and increases the risk of permanent disability. If the underlying cause of encephalopathy can be treated, the disease eventually begins to treat and the functions of the brain also start to improve.
It is a symptom of a neurological disorder that occurs due to SARS-CoV-2 infection of the CNS. The cerebral infection with SARS-CoV-2 infection is possible but it is a rare combination. The symptoms of meningoencephalitis include disturbance of consciousness and epileptic seizures.Â The delayed symptoms include persistent delirium.
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)
GBS is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nerve of the body. It is a rare condition that includes initial symptoms such as weakness and tingling. The disease paralyses your body and quickly spread in your whole body. Some cases of GBS can be triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
COVID-19 can trigger epileptic seizures. The patient may be affected by epilepsy for the first time. Patients who are critically ill can experience episodes of seizure. The seizures are also described as provoked seizures. The virus can cause large electrical storms in the brain which we call seizures. The viral infection confuses the brain and the function of the brain become impaired. The patient eventually does not need any seizure specific medicine to treat seizures. Because after the recovery it is expected that the brain will begin its function properly and seizure will stop.
COVID-19 can cause temporary olfactory disorders. The olfactory function can be recovered within 3-4 weeks.
Symptoms Of Neurological Diseases Due To Covid-19
COVID-19 commonly associate with the symptoms of lack of smell and taste. It mainly affects the respiratory system of the body but it has also impacts on the nervous system of the body.
- Olfactory and gustatory disturbances
- Long-term headaches
- Dysexecutive disorders after intensive care
- Agitation during intensive care
- Sudden neurological deficits
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Brain fog
- Lack of sense of taste and smell
Managing Neurological Disease During Covid-19
- Neurodegenerative diseases and neuromuscular disorders are more susceptible to attain SARS-CoV-2 viral infection and its complications. Telemedicine and telephonic contacts are vital steps for the follow-up of chronic neurological disorders.
- Cancellation of non-urgent diagnosis during the pandemic also help to manage spread the spread of the virus.
- Immunosuppressive therapies are beneficial for patients with an existing neurological autoimmune disorder such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis, and myasthenia gravis. Extra precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to the virus.
- It is important to examine the pharmacological interactions during the treatment of neurological patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
COVID-19 may result in neurological disorders that can produce different signs and symptoms through different mechanisms. The nervous system requires more intensive care during the pandemic especially in neurological manifestations such as encephalopathies, meningoencephalitis, and stroke. The patient should be diagnosed with an RT-PCR test. MRI imaging should also be performed in case of neurological symptoms. A neurologist should be involved in patients with COVID-19 and neurological signs and symptoms. People with a neurological disorder and COVID-19 need careful assessment of the nervous system in order to evaluate the risks and complications to prevent further critical illness.