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1.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858531

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We characterized the evolution of neurologic symptoms and self-perceived recovery of non-hospitalized COVID-19 "long haulers" 6-9 months after their initial Neuro-COVID-19 clinic evaluation. METHODS: In this follow-up study on the first 100 patients, 50 SARS-CoV-2 laboratory-positive (SARS-CoV-2+ ), and 50 laboratory-negative (SARS-CoV-2- ), evaluated at our Neuro-COVID-19 clinic between May and November 2020, patients completed phone questionnaires on their neurologic symptoms, subjective impression of recovery and quality of life. RESULTS: Of 52 patients who completed the study (27 SARS-CoV-2+ , 25 SARS-CoV-2- ) a median 14.8 (range 11-18) months after symptom onset, mean age was 42.8 years, 73% were female, and 77% were vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2. Overall, there was no significant change in the frequency of most neurologic symptoms between first and follow-up evaluations, including "brain fog" (81 vs. 71%), numbness/tingling (69 vs. 65%), headache (67 vs. 54%), dizziness (50 vs. 54%), blurred vision (34 vs. 44%), tinnitus (33 vs. 42%), and fatigue (87 vs. 81%). However, dysgeusia and anosmia decreased overall (63 vs. 27%, 58 vs. 21%, both p < 0.001). Conversely, heart rate and blood pressure variation (35 vs. 56%, p = 0.01) and gastrointestinal symptoms (27 vs. 48%, p = 0.04) increased at follow-up. Patients reported improvements in their recovery, cognitive function, and fatigue, but quality of life measures remained lower than the US normative population (p < 0.001). SARS-CoV-2 vaccination did not have a positive or detrimental impact on cognitive function or fatigue. INTERPRETATION: Non-hospitalized COVID-19 "long haulers" continue to experience neurologic symptoms, fatigue, and compromised quality of life 14.8 months after initial infection.

2.
Geroscience ; 44(3): 1241-1254, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Persistent viral RNA shedding of SARS-CoV-2 following COVID-19 has increasingly been recognized, with limited understanding of its implications on outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We retrospectively assessed for persistent viral shedding across Northwestern Medicine Healthcare (NMHC) patients between March and August 2020. We assessed for predictors of persistent viral shedding, in-hospital delirium, and six-month mortality using binary logistic regression. RESULTS: Of the 2,518 hospitalized patients with an RT-PCR-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, 959 underwent repeat SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR at least fourteen days from initial positive testing. Of those, 405 (42.2%) patients were found to have persistent viral shedding. Persistent viral shedding was associated with male sex, increased BMI, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and exposure to corticosteroids during initial COVID-19 hospitalization. Persistent viral shedding was independently associated with incidence of in-hospital delirium after adjusting for factors including severity of respiratory dysfunction (OR 2.45; 95% CI 1.75, 3.45). Even after adjusting for age, severity of respiratory dysfunction, and occurrence of in-hospital delirium, persistent viral shedding remained significantly associated with increased six-month mortality (OR 2.43; 95% CI 1.42, 4.29). CONCLUSIONS: Persistent viral shedding occurs frequently in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and is associated with in-hospital delirium and increased six-month mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delirium , Delirium/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Male , RNA, Viral/analysis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding
3.
Geroscience ; 44(3): 1255-1262, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803049

ABSTRACT

Decreases in acute stroke presentations have been reported during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic surges. A recent study by Bojti et al. (GeroScience. 2021;43:2231-2248) sought to understand the relationship of public health mandates in Hungary as they were implemented with acute ischemic stroke admissions and interventions during two separate COVID-19 waves. We sought to perform a similar analysis of changes in ischemic stroke care at two distinct medical institutions in the USA. Two separate institutions and systems of ischemic stroke care were evaluated through a regional comprehensive stroke center telestroke service and a Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatient stroke and neurorehabilitation service. Telestroke consultations in a single system in Chicago, IL, were significantly decreased during the first COVID-19 wave during severely restricted public health mandates (z-score < - 2), and were less depressed during a subsequent wave with less severe restrictions (z-score approaching - 1), which resembles findings in Hungary as reported by Bojti et al. In contrast, inpatient admissions during the first and second COVID-19 waves to a VA stroke and neurorehabilitation service in Oklahoma City remained unchanged. The Chicago and Hungary patterns of stroke presentations suggest that public perceptions, as informed by regional health mandates, might influence healthcare-seeking behavior. However, the VA experience suggests that specific patient populations may react differently to given public health mandates. These observations highlight that changes in stroke presentation during the COVID-19 pandemic may vary regionally and by patient population as well as by the severity of public health mandates implemented. Further study of COVID-19-related public health policies on acute stroke populations is needed to capture the long-term impact of such policies. Learning from the real-time impact of pandemic surges and public health policy on presentation of acute medical conditions, such as ischemic stroke, may prove valuable for designing effective policies in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
4.
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 9(3)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731569

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although patients hospitalized with COVID-19 frequently present with encephalopathy, those with mild initial COVID-19 disease who never required hospitalization also often develop neurologic symptoms as part of postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (neuro-PASC). The pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19 encephalopathy and neuro-PASC are unknown. We sought to establish biochemical evidence of CNS injury in those patients and their association with neuropsychiatric manifestations and SARS-CoV-2 antigenemia. METHODS: We recruited hospitalized, posthospitalized, and nonhospitalized patients with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 with neurologic symptoms in addition to healthy control (HC) subjects. Plasma neurofilament light chain (pNfL), plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein (pGFAP), and plasma SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid antigen (pN Ag) were measured by HD-X Simoa analyzer (Quanterix) and compared with neuropsychiatric symptoms, patient-reported quality-of-life measures, and standardized cognitive assessments. Neuroglial scores (pGFAP/pNfL) were calculated to estimate the relative contribution of astroglial and neuronal involvement. RESULTS: We enrolled a total of 64 study participants, including 9 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 encephalopathy (CE), 9 posthospitalization neuro-PASC (PNP) patients, 38 nonhospitalized neuro-PASC (NNP) patients, and 8 HC subjects. Patients with CE were older, had higher pNfL and pGFAP concentrations, and more frequent pN Ag detection than all neuro-PASC groups. PNP and NNP patients exhibited similar PASC symptoms, decreased quality-of-life measures, and cognitive dysfunction, and 1 of the 38 (2.6%) NNP patients had pN Ag detectable 3 weeks postsymptoms onset. Patients with neuro-PASC presenting with anxiety/depression had higher neuroglial scores, which were correlated with increased anxiety on quality-of-life measures. DISCUSSION: pNfL, pGFAP, and pN Ag measurements indicate neuronal dysfunction and systemic involvement in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with encephalopathy. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 N Ag in blood 3 weeks after symptoms onset in a nonhospitalized patient suggests that prolonged antigenic stimulation, or possibly latent infection, may occur. Anxiety was associated with evidence of astroglial activation in patients with neuro-PASC. These data shed new light on SARS-Cov-2 neuropathogenesis and demonstrate the value of plasma biomarkers across the COVID-19 disease spectrum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , Disease Progression , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Geroscience ; 43(4): 2041-2053, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237545

ABSTRACT

Acute-care hospital reencounters (ACHEs)-encompassing emergency department visits, observation stays, and hospital readmissions-following COVID-19 hospitalization may exacerbate health care system strain and impair recovery from illness. We sought to characterize these reencounters and factors associated with reencounters. We identified the first consecutive 509 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 within an IL hospital network, and examined ACHEs, experienced within 30 days and 4 months of index hospitalization. We identified independent predictors of reencounter using binary logistic regression. Of 509 patients, 466 (91.6%) were discharged alive from index COVID-19 hospitalization. Within 30 days and 4 months, 12.4% and 21.5% of patients, respectively, experienced ACHEs. The median time to first ACHE was 24.2 (IQR 6.5, 55) days. COVID-19 symptom exacerbation was the leading reason for early ACHE (44.8%). Reencounters, both within 30 days and 4 months, were associated with a history of a neurological disorder before COVID-19 (OR 2.78 [95% CI 1.53, 5.03] and OR 2.75 [95% CI 1.67, 4.53], respectively). Older patients and those with diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or organ transplantation tended towards more frequent ACHEs. Steroid treatment during COVID-19 hospitalization demonstrated reduced odds of 30-day reencounter (OR 0.31 [95% CI 0.091, 0.79]). Forty-nine patients had repeat SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal testing during a reencounter; twelve (24.5%) patients had positive reencounter tests and experienced more frequent reencounters than those testing negative. COVID-19 symptom exacerbation is a leading cause of early ACHE after COVID-19 hospitalization, and steroid use during index hospitalization may reduce early reencounters. Neurologic illness before COVID-19 predicts ACHEs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 8(5): 1073-1085, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147016

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Most SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals never require hospitalization. However, some develop prolonged symptoms. We sought to characterize the spectrum of neurologic manifestations in non-hospitalized Covid-19 "long haulers". METHODS: This is a prospective study of the first 100 consecutive patients (50 SARS-CoV-2 laboratory-positive (SARS-CoV-2+ ) and 50 laboratory-negative (SARS-CoV-2- ) individuals) presenting to our Neuro-Covid-19 clinic between May and November 2020. Due to early pandemic testing limitations, patients were included if they met Infectious Diseases Society of America symptoms of Covid-19, were never hospitalized for pneumonia or hypoxemia, and had neurologic symptoms lasting over 6 weeks. We recorded the frequency of neurologic symptoms and analyzed patient-reported quality of life measures and standardized cognitive assessments. RESULTS: Mean age was 43.2 ± 11.3 years, 70% were female, and 48% were evaluated in televisits. The most frequent comorbidities were depression/anxiety (42%) and autoimmune disease (16%). The main neurologic manifestations were: "brain fog" (81%), headache (68%), numbness/tingling (60%), dysgeusia (59%), anosmia (55%), and myalgias (55%), with only anosmia being more frequent in SARS-CoV-2+ than SARS-CoV-2- patients (37/50 [74%] vs. 18/50 [36%]; p < 0.001). Moreover, 85% also experienced fatigue. There was no correlation between time from disease onset and subjective impression of recovery. Both groups exhibited impaired quality of life in cognitive and fatigue domains. SARS-CoV-2+ patients performed worse in attention and working memory cognitive tasks compared to a demographic-matched US population (T-score 41.5 [37, 48.25] and 43 [37.5, 48.75], respectively; both p < 0.01). INTERPRETATION: Non-hospitalized Covid-19 "long haulers" experience prominent and persistent "brain fog" and fatigue that affect their cognition and quality of life.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis , Fatigue/diagnosis , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Telemedicine/trends , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Fatigue/etiology , Fatigue/psychology , Female , Headache/diagnosis , Headache/etiology , Headache/psychology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/psychology , Prospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
8.
J Neurol Sci ; 423: 117377, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1108443

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Abnormal movements in Covid-19 patients have been reported with varying degree of frequency, prompting neurologic consultation and additional diagnostic evaluation. We sought to evaluate the frequency and etiology of abnormal movements among hospitalized Covid-19 patients undergoing neurologic consultation. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the first 50 consecutive patients with confirmed Covid-19 hospitalized at our tertiary medical care center who underwent acute inpatient neurology consultation from March 2020 through May 2020. Indication for neurologic consultation and diagnostic studies performed were identified by electronic medical record review. RESULTS: Of the 50 initial consultation requests, 11 (22.0%) patients were evaluated for abnormal movements (nine male and two female). Myoclonus was diagnosed in 6/11 (54.5%) patients. Additionally, two patients were diagnosed with seizures (confirmed on EEG in one), while two additional patients were diagnosed with tremor (physiologic and probable functional). A single case of serotonin syndrome was also identified. CONCLUSION: Abnormal movements observed in hospitalized Covid-19 patients can have a wide range of etiologies and were a frequent initial indication for neurologic consultation. Myoclonus was the most frequent type of abnormal movement observed. Early clinical recognition and directed diagnostic work-up is essential for accurate diagnoses in these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Dyskinesias/etiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myoclonus/etiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/etiology , Serotonin Syndrome/etiology , Tertiary Care Centers , Tremor/etiology
10.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(1): 105454, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023683

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 disproportionately affects older adults and individuals with cardiovascular co-morbidities. This report presents fifteen patients who had COVID-19 respiratory illness followed by cerebrovascular events. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A call by the Iranian Neurological Association gathered cases across the country who developed neurological symptoms attributed to hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke after a definite or probable Covid-19 respiratory illness. Definite cases were those with a typical respiratory illness, positive nasopharyngeal Covid-19 PCR test, and chest CT consistent with Covid-19 infection. Probable cases were defined by a typical respiratory illness, history of contacts with a Covid-19 case, and chest CT characteristic for Covid-19 infection. RESULTS: Fifteen patients (12 men and 3 women) with an age range of 38 to 93 years old (median: 65 years old) were included. Fourteen patients had a first-ever acute ischemic stroke and one patient had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Eleven patients (73%) had previous cardiovascular comorbidities. The median time between respiratory symptoms and neurological symptoms was seven days (range 1-16 days). Stroke severity in two patients was mild (NIHSS ≤ 6), in six patients moderate (NIHSS: 7-12), and in seven patients severe (NIHSS ≥13). One patient received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator ( IV-tPA) with improved neurological symptoms. Six out of 15 patients (40%) died. All but one of those who survived had significant disability assessed by a modified ranking scale >2. The majority of patients in this case series had vascular risk factors and their stroke was associated with severe disability and death. CONCLUSION: This report highlights the need for further investigation of the links between Covid-19 and cerebrovascular events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cerebrovascular Disorders/etiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cerebrovascular Disorders/diagnosis , Cerebrovascular Disorders/mortality , Cerebrovascular Disorders/therapy , Disability Evaluation , Female , Humans , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , Recovery of Function , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombolytic Therapy , Treatment Outcome
11.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(3): 105542, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965527

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To report six consecutive patients with confirmed coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) who underwent Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography evaluation for cerebral microemboli in the setting of suspected or confirmed acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: Patient data were obtained from medical records from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL between May and June 2020. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 who underwent clinical TCD ultrasonography for microemboli detection were included. RESULTS: A total of eight TCD studies were performed in six patients with COVID-19 (4 men and 2 women, median age 65±5), four with confirmed ischemic stroke and two with refractory encephalopathy. Microemboli were detected in three male patients, two patients had suffered a confirmed ischemic stroke and one who developed prolonged encephalopathy. Microemboli of varying intensity were identified in multiple vascular territories in two patients, and microemboli persisted despite therapeutic anticoagulation in a third patient. Of the three patients without evidence of microemboli on TCD ultrasonography, two patients had suffered a confirmed ischemic stroke, while one remained with refractory encephalopathy. CONCLUSIONS: TCD ultrasonography for microemboli detection identified three patients with confirmed COVID-19 with evidence of cerebral arterial microemboli, including one who was therapeutically anticoagulated. TCD ultrasonography provides a non-invasive method for evaluating cerebral microemboli in patients with COVID-19 and may be useful in assessing response to treatment in cases with suspected or confirmed disorders of hypercoagulability. Further studies investigating the prevalence of cerebral microemboli and associated risk factors are needed to characterize their pathogenic mechanism and guide therapeutic interventions in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Intracranial Embolism/diagnostic imaging , Intracranial Embolism/etiology , Aged , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Brain Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Brain Diseases/etiology , Cerebral Angiography , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Female , Humans , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/etiology , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/therapy , Intracranial Embolism/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/diagnostic imaging , Ischemic Stroke/etiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Kidney Failure, Chronic/complications , Male , Middle Aged , Thrombectomy , Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial
12.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 7(11): 2221-2230, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-813302

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Covid-19 can involve multiple organs including the nervous system. We sought to characterize the neurologic manifestations, their risk factors, and associated outcomes in hospitalized patients with Covid-19. METHODS: We examined neurologic manifestations in 509 consecutive patients admitted with confirmed Covid-19 within a hospital network in Chicago, Illinois. We compared the severity of Covid-19 and outcomes in patients with and without neurologic manifestations. We also identified independent predictors of any neurologic manifestations, encephalopathy, and functional outcome using binary logistic regression. RESULTS: Neurologic manifestations were present at Covid-19 onset in 215 (42.2%), at hospitalization in 319 (62.7%), and at any time during the disease course in 419 patients (82.3%). The most frequent neurologic manifestations were myalgias (44.8%), headaches (37.7%), encephalopathy (31.8%), dizziness (29.7%), dysgeusia (15.9%), and anosmia (11.4%). Strokes, movement disorders, motor and sensory deficits, ataxia, and seizures were uncommon (0.2 to 1.4% of patients each). Severe respiratory disease requiring mechanical ventilation occurred in 134 patients (26.3%). Independent risk factors for developing any neurologic manifestation were severe Covid-19 (OR 4.02; 95% CI 2.04-8.89; P < 0.001) and younger age (OR 0.982; 95% CI 0.968-0.996; P = 0.014). Of all patients, 362 (71.1%) had a favorable functional outcome at discharge (modified Rankin Scale 0-2). However, encephalopathy was independently associated with worse functional outcome (OR 0.22; 95% CI 0.11-0.42; P < 0.001) and higher mortality within 30 days of hospitalization (35 [21.7%] vs. 11 [3.2%] patients; P < 0.001). INTERPRETATION: Neurologic manifestations occur in most hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Encephalopathy was associated with increased morbidity and mortality, independent of respiratory disease severity.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Dizziness/physiopathology , Dysgeusia/physiopathology , Headache/physiopathology , Myalgia/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ataxia/physiopathology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Chicago , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Movement Disorders/physiopathology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Prognosis , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/physiopathology , Severity of Illness Index , Stroke/physiopathology
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