As COVID-19 cases continue to dominate around the world, we are starting to see an increasing number in reports of neurological disorders. There are reports that shows that every third COVID positive patient shows some neurological ailments. While the respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 patients are described, the neurological complications of infection with the COVID-19 cases, is not well known. We, at CMRI are trying our best to identify the presence of neurological symptoms in COVID-19 cases and treat this with high importance before it’s too late.
Speaking on the subject, Dr. S.S. Nandi, Consultant Neurologist, CMRI said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, reports of neurological manifestation are more noticed in present day. He also added, “Acute cerebrovascular disease is also emerging as an important complication with 2 to 6 % of COVID 19 patients getting hospitalised with stroke (Ref: lancet). Because this disease may affect multiple organs (lung, kidney, heart), the brain may also suffer from lack of oxygenation or from clotting disorders that may lead to ischemic or haemorrhagic strokes.”
The recent reports have suggested that Guillain- Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder where the immune system responds to an infection and ends up attacking the nerve system, which results in muscle weakness and paralysis. Encephalitis has also been on the rise.
These symptoms are more often seen in severe cases, with estimates ranging from 46% to 84% cases showing neurological dysfunctions. Other case studies carried out have labelled severe COVID-19 brain inflammation, swelling and stroke in healthy young people with mild COVID-19 symptoms. Neurological complications have been part of our long-term history in determination of flu infection, which have been documented for over a century. The most common neurological presentation that are being observed in patients of COVID-19 is loss of smell or taste, and in fact these can be the only presenting symptoms in many patients, especially apparently asymptomatic patients.
Adding to the concern, Dr. Debkishore Gupta, Consultant and HOD of Infection control opined, “The virus may cause a direct infection to the brain and meninges. The possible entry to reach the brain via nose following infection in the lungs.”
In the presence of our life-changing technologies and advanced staff experts at CMRI, we continue to provide the care required by those living with chronic conditions, including neurological disorders, during and in the recovery phase of this pandemic. Although many of these conditions are not immediately life-threatening, quality of life can be severely impaired if appropriate treatment, services and supports are not available in a timely manner. We are keeping our heads up with the pace and have been adapting even when the dynamics are uncertain. We should choose to fight and conquer the situation.