New-Onset Brain Complications in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patie
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Brain complications of hospitalized COVID-19 patients included both neurologic and psychiatric conditions, an early analysis of the CoroNerve surveillance study showed.

Among 125 hospitalized coronavirus patients selected by specialist physicians in the U.K., complications ranged from stroke (77 people) to altered mental states including brain inflammation, psychosis, and dementia-like symptoms (39 people), reported authors in The Lancet Psychiatry.

To track neurologic and psychiatric manifestations associated with the coronavirus, the CoroNerve research group developed an online network of case report notification portals, working with the Association of British Neurologists (ABN), the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP), the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), and other professional groups.

Researchers classified broad clinical syndromes as cerebrovascular events (acute ischemic, hemorrhagic, or thrombotic vascular event involving the brain parenchyma or subarachnoid space), altered mental status (an acute alteration in personality, behavior, cognition, or consciousness), peripheral neurology (involving nerve roots, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction, or muscle), or other.

Among 125 patients, 77 presented with a cerebrovascular event, including 57 with ischemic stroke and nine with intracerebral hemorrhage. Of 39 patients who presented with altered mental status, nine had unspecified encephalopathy and seven had encephalitis. All patients with encephalitis were confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The remaining 23 patients with altered mental status fulfilled clinical case definitions for psychiatric diagnoses by the notifying psychiatrist or neuropsychiatrist, and nearly all -- 21 of 23 patients -- were new diagnoses.

This study provides valuable and timely data that are urgently needed by clinicians, researchers, and funders to inform immediate steps in COVID-19 neuroscience research and health policy.

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