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1.
Circ Res ; 130(8): 1167-1186, 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789063

ABSTRACT

Inflammation and immune mechanisms are crucially involved in the pathophysiology of the development, acute damage cascades, and chronic course after ischemic stroke. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, and, in addition to classical risk factors, maladaptive immune mechanisms lead to an increased risk of stroke. Accordingly, individuals with signs of inflammation or corresponding biomarkers have an increased risk of stroke. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as IL (interleukin)-1ß blockers, methotrexate, or colchicine, represent attractive treatment strategies to prevent vascular events and stroke. Lately, the COVID-19 pandemic shows a clear association between SARS-CoV2 infections and increased risk of cerebrovascular events. Furthermore, mechanisms of both innate and adaptive immune systems influence cerebral damage cascades after ischemic stroke. Neutrophils, monocytes, and microglia, as well as T and B lymphocytes each play complex interdependent roles that synergize to remove dead tissue but also can cause bystander injury to intact brain cells and generate maladaptive chronic inflammation. Chronic systemic inflammation and comorbid infections may unfavorably influence both outcome after stroke and recurrence risk for further stroke. In addition, stroke triggers specific immune depression, which in turn can promote infections. Recent research is now increasingly addressing the question of the extent to which immune mechanisms may influence long-term outcome after stroke and, in particular, cause specific complications such as poststroke dementia or even poststroke depression.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333041

ABSTRACT

Abstract: Patients with COVID-19 can have a variety of neurological symptoms, but the pathomechanism of CNS involvement in COVD-19 remains unclear. While routine cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analyses in patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19 generally show no or only mild inflammation, more detailed data on inflammatory mediators in the CSF of patients with COVID-19 are scarce. Here, we used mass spectrometry to study the proteome, Enzym-linkend immunoassays, semiquantitative cytokine arrays, autoantibody screening, and RNA profiling to study the neuroinflammation. We study the inflammatory response in paired CSF and serum samples of patients with COVID-19 (n=38). Patients with herpes simplex virus encephalitis (HSVE, n=10) and patients with non-inflammatory, non-neurodegenerative neurological diseases (n=28) served as controls. Proteomics on single protein level and subsequent pathway analysis showed similar yet strongly attenuated inflammatory changes in the CSF of COVID-19 patients compared to HSVE patients. CSF/serum indices of interleukin-6, interleukin-16 and CXCL10 together point at an origin from these inflammatory proteins from outside the central nervous system. When stratifying COVID-19 patients into those with and without bacterial superinfection as indicated by elevated procalcitonin levels, inflammatory markers were significantly higher in those with concomitant bacterial superinfection. RNA sequencing in the CSF revealed 101 linear RNAs comprising messenger RNAs, micro RNAs and t-RNA fragments being significantly differentially expressed in COVID-19 than in HSVE or controls. Our findings may explain the absence of signs of intrathecal inflammation upon routine CSF testing despite the presence of SARS-CoV2 infection-associated neurological symptoms. The relevance of blood-derived mediators of inflammation in the CSF for neurological post-COVID-19 symptoms deserves further investigation.

4.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(12): 3925-3937, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: During acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, neurological signs, symptoms and complications occur. We aimed to assess their clinical relevance by evaluating real-world data from a multinational registry. METHODS: We analyzed COVID-19 patients from 127 centers, diagnosed between January 2020 and February 2021, and registered in the European multinational LEOSS (Lean European Open Survey on SARS-Infected Patients) registry. The effects of prior neurological diseases and the effect of neurological symptoms on outcome were studied using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 6537 COVID-19 patients (97.7% PCR-confirmed) were analyzed, of whom 92.1% were hospitalized and 14.7% died. Commonly, excessive tiredness (28.0%), headache (18.5%), nausea/emesis (16.6%), muscular weakness (17.0%), impaired sense of smell (9.0%) and taste (12.8%), and delirium (6.7%) were reported. In patients with a complicated or critical disease course (53%) the most frequent neurological complications were ischemic stroke (1.0%) and intracerebral bleeding (ICB; 2.2%). ICB peaked in the critical disease phase (5%) and was associated with the administration of anticoagulation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Excessive tiredness (odds ratio [OR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-1.68) and prior neurodegenerative diseases (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.07-1.63) were associated with an increased risk of an unfavorable outcome. Prior cerebrovascular and neuroimmunological diseases were not associated with an unfavorable short-term outcome of COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Our data on mostly hospitalized COVID-19 patients show that excessive tiredness or prior neurodegenerative disease at first presentation increase the risk of an unfavorable short-term outcome. ICB in critical COVID-19 was associated with therapeutic interventions, such as anticoagulation and ECMO, and thus may be an indirect complication of a life-threatening systemic viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Stroke , Headache , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Front Neurol ; 12: 738405, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450827

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Neurological and psychiatric symptoms are frequent in patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS). Here, we report on the clinical presentation of the first 100 patients who presented to our PCS Neurology outpatient clinic ≥12 weeks after the acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. To date, PCS is only defined by temporal connection to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Identification of clinical phenotypes and subgroups of PCS is urgently needed. Design: We assessed clinical data of our first 100 ambulatory patients regarding clinical presentations; self-questionnaires focusing on daytime sleepiness, mood, and fatigue; and a screening assessment for detecting cognitive impairment. Results: A total of 89% of the patients presenting to the Neurology outpatient clinic had an initially mild course of COVID-19 and had not been hospitalized. The majority of the patients were female (67 vs. 33% male). The most frequent symptom reported was cognitive impairment (72%). There were 30% of patients who reported cognitive deficits and scored below 26 points on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale. Fatigue (67%), headache (36%), and persisting hyposmia (36%) were also frequently reported; 5.5% of all patients showed signs of severe depression. Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first report of patient data of a PCS Neurology outpatient clinic. Neurological sequelae also exist for more than 3 months after mainly mild SARS-CoV-2 acute infections. The reported symptoms are in accordance with recently published data of hospitalized patients.

6.
Front Neurol ; 11: 607193, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045513

ABSTRACT

Background: Many regions worldwide reported a decline of stroke admissions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It remains unclear whether urban and rural regions experienced similar declines and whether deviations from historical admission numbers were more pronounced among specific age, stroke severity or treatment groups. Methods: We used registry datasets from (a) nine acute stroke hospitals in Berlin, and (b) nine hospitals from a rural TeleNeurology network in Northeastern Germany for primary analysis of 3-week-rolling average of stroke/TIA admissions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We compared course of stroke admission numbers with regional cumulative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2) infections. In secondary analyses, we used emergency department logs of the Berlin Charité University hospital to investigate changes in age, stroke severity, and thrombolysis/thrombectomy frequencies during the early regional Sars-CoV-2 spread (March and April 2020) and compared them with preceding years. Results: Compared to past years, stroke admissions decreased by 20% in urban and 20-25% in rural hospitals. Deviations from historical averages were observable starting in early March and peaked when numbers of regional Sars-CoV-2 infections were still low. At the same time, average admission stroke severity and proportions of moderate/severe strokes (NIHSS >5) were 20 and 20-40% higher, respectively. There were no relevant deviations observed in proportions of younger patients (<65 years), proportions of patients with thrombolysis, or number of thrombectomy procedures. Stroke admissions at Charité subsequently rebounded and reached near-normal levels after 4 weeks when the number of new Sars-CoV-2 infections started to decrease. Conclusions: During the early pandemic, deviations of stroke-related admissions from historical averages were observed in both urban and rural regions of Northeastern Germany and appear to have been mainly driven by avoidance of admissions of mildly affected stroke patients.

7.
Brain Behav Immun ; 93: 415-419, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987109

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 intensive care patients can present with neurological syndromes, usually in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The recent finding of some virus-neutralizing antibodies cross-reacting with brain tissue suggests the possible involvement of specific autoimmunity. DESIGN: Blood and CSF samples from eleven critically ill COVID-19 patients presenting with unexplained neurological symptoms including myoclonus, oculomotor disturbance, delirium, dystonia and epileptic seizures, were analyzed for anti-neuronal and anti-glial autoantibodies. RESULTS: Using cell-based assays and indirect immunofluorescence on unfixed murine brain sections, all patients showed anti-neuronal autoantibodies in serum or CSF. Antigens included intracellular and neuronal surface proteins, such as Yo or NMDA receptor, but also various specific undetermined epitopes, reminiscent of the brain tissue binding observed with certain human monoclonal SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. These included vessel endothelium, astrocytic proteins and neuropil of basal ganglia, hippocampus or olfactory bulb. CONCLUSION: The high frequency of autoantibodies targeting the brain in the absence of other explanations suggests a causal relationship to clinical symptoms, in particular to hyperexcitability (myoclonus, seizures). Several underlying autoantigens and their potential molecular mimicry with SARS-CoV-2 still await identification. However, autoantibodies may already now explain some aspects of multi-organ disease in COVID-19 and can guide immunotherapy in selected cases.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , Central Nervous System Diseases/virology , Aged , Autoantigens , Autoimmunity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
8.
Cell ; 183(4): 1058-1069.e19, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-785287

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 led to pandemic spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), manifesting with respiratory symptoms and multi-organ dysfunction. Detailed characterization of virus-neutralizing antibodies and target epitopes is needed to understand COVID-19 pathophysiology and guide immunization strategies. Among 598 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from 10 COVID-19 patients, we identified 40 strongly neutralizing mAbs. The most potent mAb, CV07-209, neutralized authentic SARS-CoV-2 with an IC50 value of 3.1 ng/mL. Crystal structures of two mAbs in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain at 2.55 and 2.70 Å revealed a direct block of ACE2 attachment. Interestingly, some of the near-germline SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing mAbs reacted with mammalian self-antigens. Prophylactic and therapeutic application of CV07-209 protected hamsters from SARS-CoV-2 infection, weight loss, and lung pathology. Our results show that non-self-reactive virus-neutralizing mAbs elicited during SARS-CoV-2 infection are a promising therapeutic strategy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cricetinae , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Kinetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
Infection ; 48(4): 619-626, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597401

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide causing a global health emergency. Pa-COVID-19 aims to provide comprehensive data on clinical course, pathophysiology, immunology and outcome of COVID-19, to identify prognostic biomarkers, clinical scores, and therapeutic targets for improved clinical management and preventive interventions. METHODS: Pa-COVID-19 is a prospective observational cohort study of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection treated at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. We collect data on epidemiology, demography, medical history, symptoms, clinical course, and pathogen testing and treatment. Systematic, serial blood sampling will allow deep molecular and immunological phenotyping, transcriptomic profiling, and comprehensive biobanking. Longitudinal data and sample collection during hospitalization will be supplemented by long-term follow-up. RESULTS: Outcome measures include the WHO clinical ordinal scale on day 15 and clinical, functional, and health-related quality-of-life assessments at discharge and during follow-up. We developed a scalable dataset to (i) suit national standards of care, (ii) facilitate comprehensive data collection in medical care facilities with varying resources, and (iii) allow for rapid implementation of interventional trials based on the standardized study design and data collection. We propose this scalable protocol as blueprint for harmonized data collection and deep phenotyping in COVID-19 in Germany. CONCLUSION: We established a basic platform for harmonized, scalable data collection, pathophysiological analysis, and deep phenotyping of COVID-19, which enables rapid generation of evidence for improved medical care and identification of candidate therapeutic and preventive strategies. The electronic database accredited for interventional trials allows fast trial implementation for candidate therapeutic agents. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at the German registry for clinical studies (DRKS00021688).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Registries , Berlin/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , World Health Organization
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