Even mild Covid patients could suffer serious brain damage, neurologists warn
Wednesday, 08 July 2020
Doctors could be missing indicators of serious and potentially deadly brain damage in patients recovering from or mildly affected by Covid-19, a new study by UK neurologists has found.
Of the 43 patients examined in the Oxford study, 10 suffered from delirium or psychosis as a result of brain disease, eight had a stroke, and eight more were diagnosed with nerve problems such as the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes the immune system to attack nerves, leading to paralysis. In 5% of cases, the symptoms proved to be fatal.
“We’re seeing things in the way Covid-19 affects the brain that we haven’t seen before with other viruses,” one of the scientists and consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Michael Zandi, said.
One form of life-threatening brain damage, Adem, “has some similarities with multiple sclerosis, but it is more severe and usually happens as a one-off. Some patients are left with long-term disability, others can make a good recovery.”
Though still rare, the number of Adem-cases has been on the rise in the UK. In general, for some cases, the neurological symptoms can be more dangerous than the Covid-related ailments.
The warning adds to a longer list of shared concerns about the long-term effects of Covid-19. For some patients, symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue persist long after the virus has gone. Others experience weakness, numbness, and memory problems.