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1.
Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep ; 26: 101549, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1800222

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Herpes zoster (HZ) has been identified as a potential association with the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccination. This study evaluated this possible association in a cohort of patients receiving the vaccination. Methods: Epic electronic health records of adult patients who received at least one COVID-19 vaccination between January 12, 2020 and 9/30/2021 within the NYU Langone Health were reviewed to analyze a new diagnosis of herpes zoster within 3 months before compared to 3 months after vaccination. Results: Of the 596,111 patients who received at least one COVID-19 vaccination, 716 patients were diagnosed with HZ within three months prior to vaccination, compared to 781 patients diagnosed within 3 months afterwards. Using the chi-square test for independence of proportions, there was not a statistically significant difference in frequency of HZ before (proportion: 0.0012, 95% CI: [0.0011, 0.0013]) vs. after vaccination (proportion: 0.0013, 95% CI: [0.0012, 0.0014]); (p = 0.093). Conclusions and importance: This study did not find evidence of an association between COVID-19 vaccination and a new diagnosis of HZ. We encourage health care professionals to strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccinations per Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and vaccination against HZ according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the recombinant zoster vaccine.

2.
J Neurol Sci ; 438: 120146, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611870

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Persistent cognitive symptoms have been reported following COVID-19 hospitalization. We investigated the relationship between demographics, social determinants of health (SDOH) and cognitive outcomes 6-months after hospitalization for COVID-19. METHODS: We analyzed 6-month follow-up data collected from a multi-center, prospective study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Demographic and SDOH variables (age, race/ethnicity, education, employment, health insurance status, median income, primary language, living arrangements, and pre-COVID disability) were compared between patients with normal versus abnormal telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessments (t-MOCA; scores<18/22). Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate predictors of t-MoCA. RESULTS: Of 382 patients available for 6-month follow-up, 215 (56%) completed the t-MoCA (n = 109/215 [51%] had normal and n = 106/215 [49%] abnormal results). 14/215 (7%) patients had a prior history of dementia/cognitive impairment. Significant univariate predictors of abnormal t-MoCA included older age, ≤12 years of education, unemployment pre-COVID, Black race, and a pre-COVID history of cognitive impairment (all p < 0.05). In multivariable analyses, education ≤12 years (adjusted OR 5.21, 95%CI 2.25-12.09), Black race (aOR 5.54, 95%CI 2.25-13.66), and the interaction of baseline functional status and unemployment prior to hospitalization (aOR 3.98, 95%CI 1.23-12.92) were significantly associated with abnormal t-MoCA scores after adjusting for age, history of dementia, language, neurological complications, income and discharge disposition. CONCLUSIONS: Fewer years of education, Black race and unemployment with baseline disability were associated with abnormal t-MoCA scores 6-months post-hospitalization for COVID-19. These associations may be due to undiagnosed baseline cognitive dysfunction, implicit biases of the t-MoCA, other unmeasured SDOH or biological effects of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Dementia , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Dementia/complications , Hospitalization , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health
3.
J Neuroophthalmol ; 41(3): 356-361, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed health care. With the need to limit COVID-19 exposures, telemedicine has become an increasingly important format for clinical care. Compared with other fields, neuro-ophthalmology faces unique challenges, given its dependence on physical examination signs that are difficult to elicit outside the office setting. As such, it is imperative to understand both patient and provider experiences to continue to adapt the technology and tailor its application. The purpose of this study is to analyze both neuro-ophthalmology physician and patient satisfaction with virtual health visits during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Across three institutions (NYU Langone Health, Indiana University Health, and Columbia University Medical Center), telemedicine surveys were administered to 159 patients. Neuro-ophthalmologists completed 157 surveys; each of these were linked to a single patient visit. Patient surveys consisted of 5 questions regarding visit preparation, satisfaction, challenges, and comfort. The physician survey included 4 questions that focused on ability to gather specific clinical information by history and examination. RESULTS: Among 159 patients, 104 (65.4%) reported that they were satisfied with the visit, and 149 (93.7%) indicated that they were comfortable asking questions. Sixty-eight (73.9%) patients found the instructions provided before the visit easy to understand. Potential areas for improvement noted by patients included more detailed preparation instructions and better technology (phone positioning, Internet connection, and software). More than 87% (137/157) of neuro-ophthalmologists surveyed reported having performed an examination that provided enough information for medical decision-making. Some areas of the neuro-ophthalmologic examination were reported to be easy to conduct (range of eye movements, visual acuity, Amsler grids, Ishihara color plates, and pupillary examination). Other components were more difficult (saccades, red desaturation, visual fields, convergence, oscillations, ocular alignment, and smooth pursuit); some were especially challenging (vestibulo-ocular reflex [VOR], VOR suppression, and optokinetic nystagmus). Clinicians noted that virtual health visits were limited by patient preparation, inability to perform certain parts of the examination (funduscopy and pupils), and technological issues. CONCLUSIONS: Among virtual neuro-ophthalmology visits evaluated, most offer patients with appointments that satisfy their needs. Most physicians in this cohort obtained adequate clinical information for decision-making. Even better technology and instructions may help improve aspects of virtual health visits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Ophthalmology/methods , Pandemics , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , Comorbidity , Eye Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies
4.
Front Aging Neurosci ; 13: 690383, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344280

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Little is known regarding the prevalence and predictors of prolonged cognitive and psychological symptoms of COVID-19 among community-dwellers. We aimed to quantitatively measure self-reported metrics of fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and sleep and identify factors associated with these metrics among United States residents with or without COVID-19. METHODS: We solicited 1000 adult United States residents for an online survey conducted February 3-5, 2021 utilizing a commercial crowdsourcing community research platform. The platform curates eligible participants to approximate United States demographics by age, sex, and race proportions. COVID-19 was diagnosed by laboratory testing and/or by exposure to a known positive contact with subsequent typical symptoms. Prolonged COVID-19 was self-reported and coded for those with symptoms ≥ 1 month following initial diagnosis. The primary outcomes were NIH PROMIS/Neuro-QoL short-form T-scores for fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and sleep compared among those with prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 without prolonged symptoms and COVID-19 negative subjects. Multivariable backwards step-wise logistic regression models were constructed to predict abnormal Neuro-QoL metrics. RESULTS: Among 999 respondents, the average age was 45 years (range 18-84), 49% were male, 76 (7.6%) had a history of COVID-19 and 19/76 (25%) COVID-19 positive participants reported prolonged symptoms lasting a median of 4 months (range 1-13). Prolonged COVID-19 participants were more often younger, female, Hispanic, and had a history of depression/mood/thought disorder (all P < 0.05). They experienced significantly higher rates of unemployment and financial insecurity, and their symptoms created greater interference with work and household activities compared to other COVID-19 status groups (all P < 0.05). After adjusting for demographics, past medical history and stressor covariates in multivariable logistic regression analysis, COVID-19 status was independently predictive of worse Neuro-QoL cognitive dysfunction scores (adjusted OR 11.52, 95% CI 1.01-2.28, P = 0.047), but there were no significant differences in quantitative measures of anxiety, depression, fatigue, or sleep. CONCLUSION: Prolonged symptoms occurred in 25% of COVID-19 positive participants, and NeuroQoL cognitive dysfunction scores were significantly worse among COVID-19 positive subjects, even after accounting for demographic and stressor covariates. Fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep scores did not differ between COVID-19 positive and negative respondents.

6.
Neurosci Lett ; 742: 135531, 2021 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-966786

ABSTRACT

Multiple neuro-ophthalmological manifestations have been described in association with COVID-19. These symptoms and signs may be the result of a range of pathophysiological mechanisms throughout the course from acute illness to recovery phase. Optic nerve dysfunction, eye movement abnormalities and visual field defects have been described.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Vision Disorders/etiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Vision Disorders/diagnosis , Vision Disorders/metabolism
7.
Res Sq ; 2020 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-903183

ABSTRACT

Background: Zinc impairs replication of RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-1, and may be effective against SARS-CoV-2. However, to achieve adequate intracellular zinc levels, administration with an ionophore, which increases intracellular zinc levels, may be necessary. We evaluated the impact of zinc with an ionophore (Zn+ionophore) on COVID-19 in-hospital mortality rates. Methods: A multicenter cohort study was conducted of 3,473 adult hospitalized patients with reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) positive SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to four New York City hospitals between March 10 through May 20, 2020. Exclusion criteria were: death or discharge within 24h, comfort-care status, clinical trial enrollment, treatment with an IL-6 inhibitor or remdesivir. Patients who received Zn+ionophore were compared to patients who did not using multivariable time-dependent cox proportional hazards models for time to in-hospital death adjusting for confounders including age, sex, race, BMI, diabetes, week of admission, hospital location, sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score, intubation, acute renal failure, neurological events, treatment with corticosteroids, azithromycin or lopinavir/ritonavir and the propensity score of receiving Zn+ionophore. A sensitivity analysis was performed using a propensity score-matched cohort of patients who did or did not receive Zn+ionophore matched by age, sex and ventilator status. Results: Among 3,473 patients (median age 64, 1947 [56%] male, 522 [15%] ventilated, 545[16%] died), 1,006 (29%) received Zn+ionophore. Zn+ionophore was associated with a 24% reduced risk of in-hospital mortality (12% of those who received Zn+ionophore died versus 17% who did not; adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR] 0.76, 95% CI 0.60-0.96, P=0.023). More patients who received Zn+ionophore were discharged home (72% Zn+ionophore vs 67% no Zn+ionophore, P=0.003) Neither Zn nor the ionophore alone were associated with decreased mortality rates. Propensity score-matched sensitivity analysis (N=1356) validated these results (Zn+ionophore aHR for mortality 0.63, 95%CI 0.44-0.91, P=0.015). There were no significant interactions for Zn+ionophore with other COVID-19 specific medications. Conclusions: Zinc with an ionophore was associated with increased rates of discharge home and a 24% reduced risk of in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients, while neither zinc alone nor the ionophore alone reduced mortality. Further randomized trials are warranted.

8.
SN Compr Clin Med ; 2(11): 2109-2125, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-891937

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a high inflammatory burden that can induce severe respiratory disease among other complications; vascular and neurological damage has emerged as a key threat to COVID-19 patients. Risk of severe infection and mortality increases with age, male sex, and comorbidities including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and chronic pulmonary disease. We review clinical and neuroradiological findings in five patients with COVID-19 who suffered severe neurological disease and illustrate the pathological findings in a 7-year-old boy with COVID-19-induced encephalopathy whose brain tissue sample showed angiocentric mixed mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate. We summarize the structural and functional properties of the virus including the molecular processes that govern the binding to its membrane receptors and cellular entry. In addition, we review clinical and experimental evidence in patients and animal models that suggests coronaviruses enter into the central nervous system (CNS), either via the olfactory bulb or through hematogenous spread. We discuss suspected pathophysiological mechanisms including direct cellular infection and associated recruitment of immune cells and neurovirulence, at least in part, mediated by cytokine secretion. Moreover, contributing to the vascular and neurological injury, coagulopathic disorders play an important pathogenic role. We survey the molecular events that contribute to the thrombotic microangiopathy. We describe the neurological complications associated with COVID-19 with a focus on the potential mechanisms of neurovascular injury. Our thesis is that following infection, three main pathophysiological processes-inflammation, thrombosis, and vascular injury-are responsible for the neurological damage and diverse pathology seen in COVID-19 patients.

9.
Indian Journal of Pediatrics ; 87(7):554-554, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-657575

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To outline changes made to a neurology residency program in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: In early March 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in the United States. New York City quickly became the epicenter of a global pandemic, and our training program needed to rapidly adapt to the increasing number of inpatient cases while being mindful of protecting providers and continuing education. Many of these changes unfolded over days, including removing residents from outpatient services, minimizing the number of residents on inpatient services, deploying residents to medicine services and medical intensive care units, converting continuity clinic patient visits to virtual options, transforming didactics to online platforms only, and maintaining connectedness in an era of social distancing. We have been able to accomplish this through daily virtual meetings among leadership, faculty, and residents. RESULTS: Over time, our program has successfully rolled out initiatives to service the growing number of COVID-related inpatients while maintaining neurologic care for those in need and continuing our neurologic education curriculum. CONCLUSION: It has been necessary and feasible for our residency training program to undergo rapid structural changes to adapt to a medical crisis. The key ingredients in doing this successfully have been flexibility and teamwork. We suspect that many of the implemented changes will persist long after the COVID-19 crisis has passed and will change the approach to neurologic and medical training.

10.
J Neurol Sci ; 416: 117034, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641179

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We discuss the psychosocial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic as self-reported by housestaff and faculty in the NYU Langone Health Department of Neurology, and summarize how our program is responding to these ongoing challenges. METHODS: During the period of May 1-4, 2020, we administered an anonymous electronic survey to all neurology faculty and housestaff to assess the potential psychosocial impacts of COVID-19. The survey also addressed how our institution and department are responding to these challenges. This report outlines the psychosocial concerns of neurology faculty and housestaff and the multifaceted support services that our department and institution are offering in response. Faculty and housestaff cohorts were compared with regard to frequencies of binary responses (yes/ no) using the Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: Among 130 total survey respondents (91/191 faculty [48%] and 37/62 housestaff [60%]), substantial proportions of both groups self-reported having increased fear (79%), anxiety (83%) and depression (38%) during the COVID-19 pandemic. These proportions were not significantly different between the faculty and housestaff groups. Most respondents reported that the institution had provided adequate counseling and support services (91%) and that the department had rendered adequate emotional support (92%). Participants offered helpful suggestions regarding additional resources that would be helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has affected the lives and minds of faculty and housestaff in our neurology department at the epicenter of the pandemic. Efforts to support these providers during this evolving crisis are imperative for promoting the resilience necessary to care for our patients and colleagues.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Internship and Residency , Humans , Neurology , New York City , Pandemics
12.
Neurology ; 94(24): e2608-e2614, 2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209998

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To outline changes made to a neurology residency program in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: In early March 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in the United States. New York City quickly became the epicenter of a global pandemic, and our training program needed to rapidly adapt to the increasing number of inpatient cases while being mindful of protecting providers and continuing education. Many of these changes unfolded over days, including removing residents from outpatient services, minimizing the number of residents on inpatient services, deploying residents to medicine services and medical intensive care units, converting continuity clinic patient visits to virtual options, transforming didactics to online platforms only, and maintaining connectedness in an era of social distancing. We have been able to accomplish this through daily virtual meetings among leadership, faculty, and residents. RESULTS: Over time, our program has successfully rolled out initiatives to service the growing number of COVID-related inpatients while maintaining neurologic care for those in need and continuing our neurologic education curriculum. CONCLUSION: It has been necessary and feasible for our residency training program to undergo rapid structural changes to adapt to a medical crisis. The key ingredients in doing this successfully have been flexibility and teamwork. We suspect that many of the implemented changes will persist long after the COVID-19 crisis has passed and will change the approach to neurologic and medical training.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Education, Medical, Graduate/organization & administration , Neurology/education , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Academic Medical Centers , Ambulatory Care , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Congresses as Topic , Education, Distance , Electroencephalography/instrumentation , Electroencephalography/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital , Health Resources , Humans , Intensive Care Units , New York City , Personal Protective Equipment , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Videoconferencing
14.
Neurology ; 94(24): 1077-1087, 2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155215

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing world-wide social dislocation, operational and economic dysfunction, and high rates of morbidity and mortality. Medical practices are responding by developing, disseminating, and implementing unprecedented changes in health care delivery. Telemedicine has rapidly moved to the frontline of clinical practice due to the need for prevention and mitigation strategies; these have been encouraged, facilitated, and enabled by changes in government rules and regulations and payer-driven reimbursement policies. We describe our neurology department's situational transformation from in-person outpatient visits to a largely virtual neurology practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two key factors enabled our rapid deployment of virtual encounters in neurology and its subspecialties. The first was a well-established robust information technology infrastructure supporting virtual urgent care services at our institution; this connected physicians directly to patients using both the physician's and the patient's own mobile devices. The second is the concept of one patient, one chart, facilitated by a suite of interconnected electronic medical record (EMR) applications on several different device types. We present our experience with conducting general teleneurology encounters using secure synchronous audio and video connections integrated with an EMR. This report also details how we perform virtual neurologic examinations that are clinically meaningful and how we document, code, and bill for these virtual services. Many of these processes can be used by other neurology providers, regardless of their specific practice model. We then discuss potential roles for teleneurology after the COVID-19 global pandemic has been contained.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Neurologic Examination/methods , Neurology/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Telemedicine/methods , Videoconferencing , Academic Medical Centers , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. , Clinical Coding , Documentation , Electronic Health Records , Humans , New York City , Reimbursement Mechanisms , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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