Does Coronavirus Cause Neurological Problems?

The coronavirus, which spreads all over the world in a short time starting from China and affects hundreds of thousands of people, can hit many systems of the body, although it is a respiratory disease. Coronavirus, which is said to cause side effects in organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, can also cause neurological problems. Professor of Neurology Department of Memorial Şişli Hospital. Dr. Dilek Necioğlu Örken gave information about the neurological effects of coronavirus.

Many features of the disease began to emerge as the number of patients increased in the coronavirus, which spread from Wuhan, China to the whole world and affected hundreds of thousands of people. Covid-19 is a systemic vascular disease and should never be interpreted as just a viral pneumonia (lung involvement). The virus can also affect parts of the body such as the heart and vascular system, brain-nervous system, pancreas, kidneys, thyroid, intestines and liver.

May be evident by impaired consciousness

For example, in a study conducted in China, it is stated that some neurological findings were observed due to coronavirus in the breakdown of 214 cases. It is stated that neurological symptoms are encountered in 214 percent of 36 patients, and especially acute stroke, unconsciousness and muscle destruction occur in severe patients.

The neurological symptoms seen in terms of coronavirus can be listed as follows:

1. Central nervous system symptoms and signs: Headache, dizziness, impaired consciousness, imbalance, acute stroke, and epilepsy.

2. Peripheral nervous system signs and symptoms: Taste and smell disorders, neuralgia.

3. Skeletal muscle symptoms

Some neurological symptoms in the early period may not be specific to this disease. Thus, diagnosis can be delayed or the disease treatment plan can be made inappropriately. It should not be ignored that these people are silent carriers.

Covid-19 tests are important for differential diagnosis

 It can be said that the coronavirus shows symptoms from the nervous system. Nervous system symptoms can usually be seen in more severe infections. Ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhage can also occur with this infection. The disease is known to damage the coagulation system. Platelet abnormalities can develop with a substance called "D-dimer" that occurs in clot breakdown, and this can cause problems caused by blockage or bleeding of the vessels feeding the brain. In some patients, rapid clinical deterioration may also be due to stroke. For this reason, Covid-19 tests should be included in the differential diagnosis in patients who show signs of stroke during the coronavirus period.

May pave the way for brain hemorrhage

Among the coronavirus patients, middle and elderly patients, especially those who are severely ill, constitute the majority of stroke cases. Most of these patients also have other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and previous stroke. Since Covid-19 binds to ACE-2 receptors, blood pressure fluctuations can be seen in patients with hypertension. While a serious decrease in thrombocyte may occur in some critically ill patients; this may be another high risk factor for brain hemorrhage.

Some symptoms may give clues without lung findings.

Coronavirus can show symptoms such as headache, epileptic seizures, and confusion, suggestive of a brain infection. The disease may begin with these symptoms in very few patients without pulmonary findings. Therefore, care should be taken in terms of these symptoms in Covid-19 patients with neurological problems. In such a case, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is performed and a medicated brain film is evaluated. Water can be taken from the waist to show the virus in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Those with neurological diseases should pay extra attention

In addition, those with neurological diseases are also at risk. Patients with Alzheimer's, epilepsy, MS, Parkinson's and ALS also need to be very careful. These individuals also need to strictly comply with protection warnings in order to prevent and control coronavirus transmission. It is important for those with neurological diseases not to delay their appointments to neurology doctors and to keep in touch with their doctors when they show symptoms of a cold. In addition, masks, distance and hygiene rules must now be a routine of life.

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