Neurologists warn about serious complications that coronavirus can cause in the brain. In the study of British physicians found in patients with COVID-19 severe neurological disorders, stroke, inflammation, temporary dysfunction of the brain, delirium and psychosis. Moreover, experts fear that in the coming years the world may start an epidemic of brain disease caused by a virus of a new type.
Scientists from University College London (UCL) described 43 cases in which the twelve patients revealed inflammation of the Central nervous system, have ten – delirium or psychosis, eight – stroke, and for eight-problems with peripheral nerves, most often diagnosed as the Guillain-Barre syndrome (the immune reaction that affects the nerves and causes paralysis).
Moreover, one 55-year-old patient with a coronavirus, described in the article has not previously had any mental illness, started acting weird the next day after discharge from the hospital. The woman repeatedly put on and take off his coat. Later she started hallucinating: she saw the monkeys and lions in his house.
However, as The Guardian reports, the experts stressed that in some cases, neurological disorders were the first and main symptoms of patients.
“We see COVID-19 affects the brain, what we had not noticed before when studying other viruses,” says study leader and Professor at University College London Michael Zandi.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 is largely a respiratory disease, experts still claim that new evidence of its effects on the brain are cause for concern.
“Given what we know about the disease only a few months, we are unable to say with certainty what consequences might result COVID-19 in the long term”, – says another member of the research group Ross Patterson.
Experts have found that the new coronavirus may be accompanied by acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (WEM).
This disease is most common in children and manifests in the course of the infectious process. The wholesale power market is characterized by extensive lesions of the white matter of the brain and destruction of myelin sheaths of nerve fibers. In the absence of proper treatment, the disease can be fatal.
In the study, University College London, published in the journal Brain, scientists reported that acute encephalomyelitis was detected in nine people. In addition, they stated that before an adult patient with OMER came to the clinic once a month. At present, however they accept people with this disease already once a week that was described by experts as “alarming increase”.
According to the Guardian, the number of cases of the OMER among adults in the Institute of neurology, University of California at Los Angeles has also increased from one a month before the pandemic, up to two to three per week in April and may.
“We want doctors around the world were attentive to the complications of coronavirus, Michael said Zandi. – The brain seem to be involved in this disease.”
The Professor also called on General practitioners to consult with neurologists in the evaluation of patients with COVID-19, with cognitive disorders, memory problems, fatigue, numbness or weakness.
According to scientists, the full range of brain diseases caused by COVID-19 may not be identified, because many of the coronavirus patients are still undergoing treatment in medical institutions, which certainly complicates the process of studying this issue.
“What we now really need is more qualitative studies of what actually happens in the brain,” said Professor Zandi.
One of the key problems, according to doctors, is that the virus can leave a certain part of the population with minor brain damage that will emerge in the coming years.
“It is obvious that this disease affects the brain like no other virus that we have encountered before – continued Michael Zandi. – We have yet to figure out, might we expect a large-scale epidemic of brain damage related to the pandemic, as it was after the Spanish flu that caused in the 1920-1930-ies of the outbreak of lethargic encephalitis. We hope that this will not happen, but when we are dealing with a dangerous pandemic that is affecting so much of the population, you need to be careful.”