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Brain Dysfunction in COVID-19 Survivors

brain dysfunction in covid-19 survivors

The Coronavirus disaster, caused by the new COVID severe strong respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), resulted in over 48 million confirmed cases and over 300,000 deaths as of May 19, 2020. Since the 1918 influenza pandemic, this is the biggest and most devastating pandemic.

Although this respiratory illness is the most prevalent and important health issue, reports of neurological symptoms are on the rise. These symptoms appear to be a mixture of non-specific consequences of systemic illness, the impact of direct viral infection, or para-infectious or post-infectious inflammation of the nervous system and vasculature.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, there has been concern that survivors might be at an increased risk of neurological disorders. This concern, initially based on findings from other coronaviruses. Similar concerns have been raised regarding psychiatric consequences of COVID-19, with evidence showing that survivors are indeed at increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders in the 3 months after infection. 

However, neurology scientists need larger scale, robust, and longer-term data to accurately identify and quantify the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on brain health. Such information is required both to plan services and identify research priorities.

In April 2021, a 6-month research study was conducted of those who recovered from the coronavirus. They found case series and reviews reporting neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders during acute COVID-19 illness with proper evidence of existing one provided.  There were no violations of the proportional hazards assumption for most of the neurological outcomes. 

According to the research, literally every neurological disease, including different brain dysfunctions, increases its chances to appear and get worse after the patient recovers from the coronavirus. One of the base documents of their research was the electronic health records study of the psychiatric consequences in the 3 months after a COVID-19 finding. It was revealed that an increased risk for anxiety and mood disorders and dementia occurs after COVID-19 diagnosis, compared with a range of other health diseases; the study also reported the cause-effect relationship of each disorder.

What is the impact of Covid on the brain?

What is the impact of Covid on the brain

Mood and anxiety disorders were the most prevalent symptoms the researchers encountered out of 14 brain illnesses, followed by drug use disorders and insomnia. Neurological problems were more uncommon, with an ischemic stroke occurring in 2.1 percent of patients, dementia in 0.7 percent, and brain hemorrhage in 0.6 percent. Patients who were seriously unwell with COVID-19, especially those in critical care, were at the highest risk for mental health and neurological issues.

The researchers then compared the COVID-19 survivors to patients with influenza and other respiratory tract illnesses, finding that the COVID cohort had a much higher risk of neurological or mental disorders than the other two groups.

These facts, no doubt, are worthy of attention and an immediate response from neurology scientists all over the world to prevent the coronavirus from spreading any kinds of brain dysfunction and other diseases caused by it. It is a great disappointment to see the whole situation with neuropsychiatric illnesses that increased after the COVID.

How does Coronavirus influence the brain?

COVID-19’s effects on the brain are still a mystery to scientists. Inflammation is one possibility. Blood vessel damage was discovered in the brains of deceased COVID-19 patients in a recent research study done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which likely was caused by the body’s inflammatory reaction to the coronavirus. According to other studies, the virus may directly infect the brain and its cells. Even worse, it can be a combination of different factors. 

Given the anosmia in COVID-19, viral entrance to the brain via the olfactory bulb—the sole area of the CNS not covered by dura—is a probable pathway for SARS-CoV-2. The herpes simplex virus, the most prevalent cause of sporadic viral encephalitis, is thought to adopt this entrance pathway. 

Human coronavirus OC43 invades the CNS via the olfactory pathway in mice models after intranasal injection. Carried through the blood–brain barrier, after viraemia, or by infected leukocytes are all possible entrance sites.

SARS-CoV-2 binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor in the brain vascular endothelium and smooth muscle for entering into cells. In vitro, SARS-CoV-2 replicates in neural cells.

The virus may cause damage to the CNS or PNS directly, or it may be caused by the body’s innate and adaptive immunological responses to infection. Unlike herpes simplex virus, several enteroviruses, and some arthropod-borne viruses, which can cause widespread neurodegeneration, there is little evidence that SARS-CoV-2 or similar coronaviruses are especially neurovirulent.

While the findings of the study are substantial, there is no reason for concern. You’re not doomed to suffer neurological or mental disorders just because you’ve had a coronavirus infection. Whether you begin to experience new or unexpected symptoms that continue or recur after using COVID-19, you should consult your personal physician to check if there is indeed something wrong. 

The study also serves as a warning to health care practitioners that COVID-19 should be on their radar as a likely contributor to catastrophic brain diseases like stroke.

Doctors anticipate an influx of patients with symptoms connected to the brain.

Doctors anticipate an influx of patients with symptoms connected to the brain

With the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continuing to rise, Sara Manning Peskin, a neurologist at Penn Medicine who treats patients with post-COVID-19 brain fog, predicts that the health system will begin to see an “influx” of patients experiencing brain-related symptoms after COVID-19. 

Health services need to be organized and resourced to meet this expected need. Several hospitals and health systems have established clinics to assist those suffering from the long-term consequences of COVID-19, with some specializing in neurological disorders. The clinics are in high demand because people are having these experiences, and no one knows what to do.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health has also developed a database to document all of the neurological symptoms and outcomes found in coronavirus patients across the United States.

There is no single remedy that has been found to prevent COVID-19-related brain problems to date. That’s why it’s critical to “stay attentive” and stick to tried-and-true prevention strategies like wearing a mask in public, keeping at least 6 feet away from others, washing your hands often, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated rooms, and getting a vaccination if available. In terms of future steps, scientists concur that further study is needed to enhance the understanding of COVID-19 and the brain, particularly potential long-term consequences of coronavirus infection.

Conclusion

The extensive spectrum of CNS and PNS connections with COVID-19 is not surprising, given existing knowledge of other coronaviruses and respiratory viruses, and this is the subject of most recent findings. However, based on knowledge of prior epidemic viral infections and cases documented thus far, neurological illness is anticipated to be found more frequently in individuals who are SARS-CoV-2 positive but have few or no classic COVID-19 characteristics.

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Lone Star Neurology
4.4
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Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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