The examine outlined the frequency and severity of neurologic signs in 509 sufferers hospitalized for Covid-19 within the Chicago-based well being system firstly of the pandemic. Encephalopathy is a generic term for problems, including and not limited to, attention and concentration, loss of short-term memory, disorientation, stupor and "profound unresponsiveness" or a coma-like level of consciousness.
'We're studying this in patients who are discharged from the hospital, as well as in COVID-19 'long-haulers, ' who have never been hospitalized but also suffer from a similar range of neurological problems, including brain fog.
Nearly a third of the patients developed encephalopathy, an umbrella term that refers to alterations in brain structure or function.
What's more, younger patients were more likely to develop neurological symptoms than older ones, despite how severe patients' respiratory systems were attacked.
Encephalopathy was also associated with an increased risk of severe illness and death, independent of how severe a patient's Covid-19 was, the researchers found.
Encephalopathy independently was associated with worse functional outcome (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.11-0.42, P 0.001) and higher mortality within 30 days of hospitalization (21.7% vs 3.2%, P 0.001). By comparison, 89 percent of those who did not experience encephalopathy were able to manage regular activities without assistance.
The doctors could not determine the cause of encephalopathy with certainty "given the lack of extensive diagnostic neurologic testing for most patients".
The virus may also infect the brain directly, some researchers say, and the immune system's reaction to it can cause inflammation that damages the brain and nerves. He was admitted Friday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for treatment of COVID-19. This symptom is more prevalent among the older lot.
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Muscle pain was reported by almost 44.8 percent of patients, and 37.7 percent complained of headaches.
Dr Serena Spudich, chief of neurological infections and global neurology at Yale School of Medicine, told NYT that the findings of the paper suggest that patients with altered mental function "might benefit from closer post-discharge monitoring or rehabilitation". News about frequent neurologic symptoms may only add to those concerns, though there is no guarantee he will suffer any such effects.
Future studies of hospitalized Covid-19 patients may reveal different impacts on the nervous system.
Of the more than 500 patients in the study, the team detected neurologic manifestations at COVID-19 onset in 215 patients, equivalent to 42.2 percent.
The NHS said 10 million pounds ($13 million) would be invested in local funding to start up Long COVID clinics across England, with respiratory consultants, physios and general practitioners among those who will diagnose and treat the symptoms, which include chronic fatigue, anxiety and stress.
Also unknown are the long-term effects of these symptoms.
The team, from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, says its study is the first of its kind in the United States and could help identify and treat people hospitalized with COVID-19 before experiencing such symptoms.
Approximately one-third of patients each reported dizziness and encephalopathy, which occurs when a patients experiences an altered mental state leaving them confused.