153 SEVERE COVID-19 PATIENTS REVEAL HOW THE DISEASE AFFECTS THE BRAIN
>Between April 2 and April 26, scientists in the United Kingdom identified 153 Covid-19 patients who had neurological symptoms. Those symptoms included cerebrovascular events (like a stroke), altered mental status (a change in personality, behavior, or consciousness), or issues with peripheral parts of the nervous system (like nerves outside the brain). The study was published Thursday in the The Lancet.
>Importantly, these symptoms were only seen in SEVERE COVID-19 PATIENTS. And at this point, scientists are unsure of how many patients, on a population level, might actually experience these complications.
>The most common, seen in 57 people, was an ischemic stroke – the most common kind of stroke that occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. Altered mental status was seen in 39 patients. Of those, seven showed evidence of encephalitis or swelling in the brain that could be behind the behavior.
>"Even if the number of patients is small the denominator is so large because so many people have been infected," Michael says. "We're seeing large numbers of these rare complications. In our study, we identified 153 of these patients in three weeks."
>"But within the neurological and psychiatric complications of an altered mental status we had one of our largest groupings in patients in their twenties, thirties, and forties," Michael says.