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2.
Ann Neurol ; 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527416

ABSTRACT

This study was undertaken to assess whether SARS-CoV-2 causes a persistent central nervous system infection. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody index and SARS-CoV-2 RNA were studied in cerebrospinal fluid following COVID-19. Cerebrospinal fluid was assessed between days 1 and 30 (n = 12), between days 31 and 90 (n = 8), or later than 90 days (post-COVID-19, n = 20) after COVID-19 diagnosis. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was absent in all patients, and in none of the 20 patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome were intrathecally produced anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected. The absence of evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in cerebrospinal fluid argues against a persistent central nervous system infection as a cause of neurological or neuropsychiatric post-COVID-19 syndrome. ANN NEUROL 2021.

3.
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
4.
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.

5.
Curr Opin Neurol ; 34(3): 423-431, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132694

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an overview on current knowledge of neurological symptoms and complications of COVID-19, and to suggest management concepts. RECENT FINDINGS: Headache, dizziness, excessive tiredness, myalgia, anosmia/hyposmia, and ageusia/dysgeusia are common nonspecific neurological manifestations during early COVID-19 disease found in the majority of patients. Less frequent but more severe and specific neurological manifestations include Guillain--Barré syndrome, encephalopathy, encephalitis/meningitis, epileptic seizures, and cerebrovascular events. Beyond standard neurological examination, these require a more extensive work-up, including cerebrospinal fluid assessment, neurophysiological evaluation, neuroimaging, and cognitive testing. Symptomatic treatment is advisable unless the neurological complication's immune pathogenesis is proven. SUMMARY: Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 occur during the acute, para-infectious, and 'recovery' phase. Therapeutic management depends on the clinical presentation and neurological work-up.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Brain Diseases/etiology , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis
6.
Nervenarzt ; 92(6): 521-530, 2021 Jun.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116542

ABSTRACT

Many neuroimmunological diseases, such as encephalopathy, encephalitis, myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) have occurred more frequently after infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which indicates a parainfectious or postinfectious association. The most likely underlying mechanisms include virus-triggered overactivation of the immune system with hyperinflammation and cytokine storm but potentially also the development of specific autoantibodies against central nervous system (CNS) tissue. These were predominantly detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of severely ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In contrast, direct damage after invasion of SARS-CoV­2 into the brain and spinal cord does not seem to play a relevant role. Susceptibility to infection with SARS-CoV­2 in patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia or other neuroimmunological diseases including the risk for severe disease courses, is not determined by the administered immunotherapy but by known risk factors, such as age, comorbidities and the disease-related degree of disability. Therefore, immunotherapy in these patients should not be delayed or discontinued. The contribution of neuroimmunological mechanisms to long-term sequelae after survival of a COVID-19 illness, such as fatigue, impairment of memory, sleep dysfunction or anxiety, will require long-term clinical follow-up, preferentially in COVID-19 register studies.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases , COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Humans , Neuroimmunomodulation , SARS-CoV-2
8.
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.

9.
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
10.
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
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