COVID-19 is a viral infection. Viral infections have a significant impact on the brain, even if there is no direct attack on the tissues of the brain. The most common neurological conditions as encephalitis and brain inflammation occur as a result of viral infections.
In the beginning, the viral infections show flu-like symptoms, but if they reach the brain tissue, they can exhibit severe symptoms.
According to new researches, there is a link between COVID-19 and neurological complications among infected patients. However, the reason and pathology of these complications are still unclear.
According to a recent research report from IN (Institute of Neurology) at University London College, there were some cases of nerve damage, inflammation, delirium, and stroke among patients with COVID-19 infection.
According to new researches and clinical data, the attack of coronavirus is not only to the respiratory tract or respiratory system. Now, these infections can invade your central nervous system and lead to several neurological complications.
Symptoms and the most common neurological diseases:
A research study claims that the most common neurological symptoms seen among the patients with coronavirus infection are:
The most common neurological complications are:
· Guillain-Barre syndrome
· Necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy
· Epileptic seizures
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has diverse symptoms, but dizziness and headaches are the most commonly seen complications. Several skeletal muscle injuries were also evident among patients with neurological complications due to coronavirus.
There is an increasing trend among patients for symptoms like ageusia and anosmia.
There is a high-tendency for diseases among patients with:
· Increased age (elderly population)
· History of chronic or acute diabetes
· Cardiovascular diseases or complications
· Hypertension (high blood pressure)
· Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies for their diseases as Sarcoidosis, Myasthenia gravis, and Multiple sclerosis (MS)
There are cellular receptors as ACE-II receptors (Angiotensin-converting enzyme II) present in both glial and neuronal cells in the brain tissue. This neurotoxicity is due to homeostasis dysregulation and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. They can cause indirect or direct neurological complications (during or after the attack of the virus).
It is time to observe the patients for their neurological symptoms as well. Because coronavirus is highly contagious, and we can only control the neurological complications if we intervene in them timely.
When to see medical care for neurological symptoms?
The characteristic symptoms of coronavirus differentiate it from other diseases. But if you notice an increase in neurological symptoms as:
· High frequency of headaches
· Constant dizziness
· Inability to differentiate between two objects
· Confusion and lethargy
· An increased loss of smell
· An increase in the loss of taste
In case of these signs and symptoms, individuals should consult your health care provider for further evaluations.
Long-term effects of neurological conditions due to coronavirus:
Amongst all the diseases, neurological conditions carry the most long-term effects.
In case if an individual suffers from a stroke attack, it can leave the most debilitating effects for life long.
Another disease as Guillain-Barre Syndrome also has several reports, among COVID-19 patients. This disease directly attacks the neuronal cells of the brain.
The long-term effects can cause:
· Muscle weakness
· Loss of movement
· Tingling sensations in the body parts
· Confusion and lethargy
Similarly, other diseases as multiple sclerosis and encephalitis directly affect the brain tissue and can even damage the neurons. The regeneration power of neurons is slow. It takes longer to recover from neurological complications.
Cranial nerves are the nerves that control the sense of movement, smell, and taste. According to the new clinical data, coronavirus can cause cranial nerve dysfunctions, which lead to the absence of smell and taste in a person.
Brain abscess is another condition that leads to an accumulation of the pus due to any trauma or infection.
Brain abscess is a life-threatening disease. Now, there is evidence about the link of coronavirus infection with the formation of brain puss or brain abscess.
In this era of coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to:
· Extend the monitoring of coronavirus patients
· Make the neurological examination a mandatory component of the treatment
· Limit the exposure of individuals to coronavirus patients
· Change the strategies of intervention for patients with neurological complications.
Tele-consultations are the new normal for limiting the exposure of the infected and healthy individual.
Other than it, there is an immense need to introduce new pharmacological interventions to:
· Treat the characteristic symptoms
· Decrease the intensity or frequency of the symptoms
· Take control of the neurological complications at the earlier stages
· Limit the medications in the sequencing of the virus among patients.