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1.
Eur J Neurol ; 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973618

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Many single cases and small series of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were reported during the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak worldwide. However, the debate regarding the possible role of infection in causing GBS is still ongoing. This multicenter study aimed to evaluate epidemiological and clinical findings of GBS diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic in northeastern Italy in order to further investigate the possible association between GBS and COVID-19. METHODS: Guillain-Barré syndrome cases diagnosed in 14 referral hospitals from northern Italy between March 2020 and March 2021 were collected and divided into COVID-19-positive and COVID-19-negative. As a control population, GBS patients diagnosed in the same hospitals from January 2019 to February 2020 were considered. RESULTS: The estimated incidence of GBS in 2020 was 1.41 cases per 100,000 persons/year (95% confidence interval 1.18-1.68) versus 0.89 cases per 100,000 persons/year (95% confidence interval 0.71-1.11) in 2019. The cumulative incidence of GBS increased by 59% in the period March 2020-March 2021 and, most importantly, COVID-19-positive GBS patients represented about 50% of the total GBS cases with most of them occurring during the two first pandemic waves in spring and autumn 2020. COVID-19-negative GBS cases from March 2020 to March 2021 declined by 22% compared to February 2019-February 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Other than showing an increase of GBS in northern Italy in the "COVID-19 era" compared to the previous year, this study emphasizes how GBS cases related to COVID-19 represent a significant part of the total, thus suggesting a relation between COVID-19 and GBS.

2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288901

ABSTRACT

A cytokine storm, autoimmune features and dysfunctions of myeloid cells significantly contribute to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Genetic background of the host seems to be partly responsible for severe phenotype and genes related to innate immune response seem critical host determinants. The C9orf72 gene has a role in vesicular trafficking, autophagy regulation and lysosome functions, is highly expressed in myeloid cells and is involved in immune functions, regulating the lysosomal degradation of mediators of innate immunity. A large non-coding hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in this gene is the main genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), both characterized by neuroinflammation and high systemic levels of proinflammatory cytokines, while HREs of intermediate length, although rare, are more frequent in autoimmune disorders. C9orf72 full mutation results in haploinsufficiency and intermediate HREs seem to modulate gene expression as well and impair autophagy. Herein, we sought to explore whether intermediate HREs in C9orf72 may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19. Although we found intermediate HREs in only a small portion of 240 patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, the magnitude of risk for requiring non-invasive or mechanical ventilation conferred by harboring intermediate repeats >10 units in at least one C9orf72 allele was more than twice respect to having shorter expansions, when adjusted for age (odds ratio (OR) 2.36; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-5.37, p = 0.040). The association between intermediate repeats >10 units and more severe clinical outcome (p = 0.025) was also validated in an independent cohort of 201 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. These data suggest that C9orf72 HREs >10 units may influence the pathogenic process driving more severe COVID-19 phenotypes.


Subject(s)
C9orf72 Protein/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Microsatellite Repeats , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/genetics , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
3.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 92(7): 751-756, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269801

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Single cases and small series of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have been reported during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak worldwide. We evaluated incidence and clinical features of GBS in a cohort of patients from two regions of northern Italy with the highest number of patients with COVID-19. METHODS: GBS cases diagnosed in 12 referral hospitals from Lombardy and Veneto in March and April 2020 were retrospectively collected. As a control population, GBS diagnosed in March and April 2019 in the same hospitals were considered. RESULTS: Incidence of GBS in March and April 2020 was 0.202/100 000/month (estimated rate 2.43/100 000/year) vs 0.077/100 000/month (estimated rate 0.93/100 000/year) in the same months of 2019 with a 2.6-fold increase. Estimated incidence of GBS in COVID-19-positive patients was 47.9/100 000 and in the COVID-19-positive hospitalised patients was 236/100 000. COVID-19-positive patients with GBS, when compared with COVID-19-negative subjects, showed lower MRC sum score (26.3±18.3 vs 41.4±14.8, p=0.006), higher frequency of demyelinating subtype (76.6% vs 35.3%, p=0.011), more frequent low blood pressure (50% vs 11.8%, p=0.017) and higher rate of admission to intensive care unit (66.6% vs 17.6%, p=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows an increased incidence of GBS during the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy, supporting a pathogenic link. COVID-19-associated GBS is predominantly demyelinating and seems to be more severe than non-COVID-19 GBS, although it is likely that in some patients the systemic impairment due to COVID-19 might have contributed to the severity of the whole clinical picture.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/diagnosis , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/therapy , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies
4.
Neurology ; 95(7): e910-e920, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115264

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical and laboratory characteristics, treatment, and clinical outcomes of patients admitted for neurologic diseases with and without coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: In this retrospective, single-center cohort study, we included all adult inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to a neuro-COVID unit beginning February 21, 2020, who had been discharged or died by April 5, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data were extracted from medical records and compared (false discovery rate corrected) to those of neurologic patients without COVID-19 admitted in the same period. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-three patients were included in this study, of whom 56 were positive and 117 were negative for COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 were older (77.0 years, interquartile range [IQR] 67.0-83.8 years vs 70.1 years, IQR 52.9-78.6 years, p = 0.006), had a different distribution regarding admission diagnoses, including cerebrovascular disorders (n = 43, 76.8% vs n = 68, 58.1%), and had a higher quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) score on admission (0.9, IQR 0.7-1.1 vs 0.5, IQR 0.4-0.6, p = 0.006). In-hospital mortality rates (n = 21, 37.5% vs n = 5, 4.3%, p < 0.001) and incident delirium (n = 15, 26.8% vs n = 9, 7.7%, p = 0.003) were significantly higher in the COVID-19 group. Patients with COVID-19 and without COVID with stroke had similar baseline characteristics, but patients with COVID-19 had higher modified Rankin Scale scores at discharge (5.0, IQR 2.0-6.0 vs 2.0, IQR 1.0-3.0, p < 0.001), with a significantly lower number of patients with a good outcome (n = 11, 25.6% vs n = 48, 70.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with COVID-19, multivariable regressions showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with higher qSOFA scores (odds ratio [OR] 4.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-16.5, p = 0.025), lower platelet count (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99, p = 0.005), and higher lactate dehydrogenase (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.03, p = 0.009) on admission. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with COVID-19 admitted with neurologic disease, including stroke, have a significantly higher in-hospital mortality and incident delirium and higher disability than patients without COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Inpatients/statistics & numerical data , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Nervous System Diseases/mortality , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
5.
Neurophysiol Clin ; 51(2): 183-191, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087170

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether patients with acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) associated with SARS-CoV-2 show characteristic electrophysiological features. METHODS: Clinical and electrophysiological findings of 24 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and AIDP (S-AIDP) and of 48 control AIDP (C-AIDP) without SARS-CoV-2 infection were compared. RESULTS: S-AIDP patients more frequently developed respiratory failure (83.3% vs. 25%, P=0.000) and required intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization (58.3% vs. 31.3%, P=0.000). In C-AIDP, distal motor latencies (DMLs) were more frequently prolonged (70.9% vs. 26.2%, P=0.000) whereas in S-AIDP distal compound muscle action potential (dCMAP) durations were more frequently increased (49.5% vs. 32.4%, P=0.002) and F waves were more often absent (45.6% vs. 31.8%, P=0.011). Presence of nerves with increased dCMAP duration and normal or slightly prolonged DML was elevenfold higher in S-AIDP (31.1% vs. 2.8%, P=0.000);11 S-AIDP patients showed this pattern in 2 nerves. CONCLUSION: Increased dCMAP duration, thought to be a marker of acquired demyelination, can also be oserved in critical illness myopathy. In S-AIDP patients, an increased dCMAP duration dissociated from prolonged DML, suggests additional muscle fiber conduction slowing, possibly due to a COVID-19-related hyperinflammatory state. Absent F waves, at least in some S-AIDP patients, may reflect α-motor neuron hypoexcitability because of immobilization during the ICU stay. These features should be considered in the electrodiagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 patients with weakness, to avoid misdiagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/etiology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/physiopathology , Action Potentials , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Electrodiagnosis , Electrophysiological Phenomena , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Motor Neurons , Muscle, Skeletal/physiopathology , Neural Conduction , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Sensory Receptor Cells
6.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 92(2): 218-220, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873577
7.
Acta Myol ; 39(2): 57-66, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719952

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Since February 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy has forced the health care system to undergo profound rearrangements in its services and facilities, especially in the worst-hit areas in Northern Italy. In this setting, inpatient and outpatient services had to rethink and reorganize their activities to meet the needs of patients during the "lockdown". The Italian Association of Myology developed a survey to estimate the impact of these changes on patients affected by neuromuscular disorders and on specialized neuromuscular centers during the acute phase of COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We developed an electronic survey that was sent to neuromuscular centers affiliated with the Italian Association of Myology, assessing changes in pharmacological therapies provision, outpatient clinical and instrumental services, support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) and clinical trials. RESULTS: 40% of surveyed neuromuscular centers reported a reduction in outpatient visit and examinations (44.5% of centers in Northern regions; 25% of centers in Central regions; 50% of centers in Southern regions). Twenty-two% of centers postponed in-hospital administration of therapies for neuromuscular diseases (23.4% in Northern regions; 13.0% in Central regions; 20% in Southern regions). Diagnostic and support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) were suspended in 57% of centers (66/43/44% in Northern, Central and Southern centers respectively) Overall, the most affected services were rehabilitative services and on-site outpatient visits, which were suspended in 93% of centers. Strategies adopted by neuromuscular centers to overcome these changes included maintaining urgent on-site visits, addressing patients to available services and promoting remote contact and telemedicine. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant disruption of clinical and support services for patients with neuromuscular diseases. Despite the efforts to provide telemedicine consults to patients, this option could be promoted and improved further. A close collaboration between the different neuromuscular centers and service providers as well as further implementation of telehealth platforms are necessary to ensure quality care to NMD patients in the near future and in case of recurrent pandemic waves.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Neuromuscular Diseases/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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