British researchers are now warning that Coronavirus could cause a wave of brain damage in infected patients.
In a new study released on Wednesday, experts at the University College London (UCL) confirmed that Covid-19 could lead to deadly neurological complications including stroke, nerve damage, and potentially fatal brain inflammation even in patients who didn’t show severe respiratory symptoms associated with the virus, though follow-up studies are required to understand the potential long-term neurological consequences of the pandemic, according to the experts.
“Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage Covid-19 can cause,” said joint first author Dr. Ross Paterson in the press release. “Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes.”
The study, which was published in the journal Brain, examined 43 patients being treated at University College London Hospitals for either confirmed or suspected coronavirus, from April to May. The patients ranged from ages 16 to 85, with each showing symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Shockingly, among these patients, researchers discovered 10 cases of “temporary brain dysfunction” and delirium, 12 cases of brain inflammation, eight cases of strokes and another eight cases of nerve damage.
The majority of the patients who displayed brain inflammation were diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly condition known as Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the research team in London would come across approximately one ADEM case per month. However, during the duration of the study, the number increased to at least one a week.