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Front Neurosci ; 15: 727060, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376711


SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a spectrum of acute neurological syndromes. A subset of these syndromes promotes higher in-hospital mortality than is predicted by traditional parameters defining critical care illness. This suggests that deregulation of components of the central and peripheral nervous systems compromises the interplay with systemic cellular, tissue and organ interfaces to mediate numerous atypical manifestations of COVID-19 through impairments in organismal homeostasis. This unique dyshomeostasis syndrome involves components of the ACE-2/1 lifecycles, renin-angiotensin system regulatory axes, integrated nervous system functional interactions and brain regions differentially sculpted by accelerated evolutionary processes and more primordial homeostatic functions. These biological contingencies suggest a mechanistic blueprint to define long-term neurological sequelae and systemic manifestations such as premature aging phenotypes, including organ fibrosis, tissue degeneration and cancer. Therapeutic initiatives must therefore encompass innovative combinatorial agents, including repurposing FDA-approved drugs targeting components of the autonomic nervous system and recently identified products of SARS-CoV-2-host interactions.

Neurology ; 96(11): e1527-e1538, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028513


OBJECTIVE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is protean in its manifestations, affecting nearly every organ system. However, nervous system involvement and its effect on disease outcome are poorly characterized. The objective of this study was to determine whether neurologic syndromes are associated with increased risk of inpatient mortality. METHODS: A total of 581 hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, neurologic involvement, and brain imaging were compared to hospitalized non-neurologic patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Four patterns of neurologic manifestations were identified: acute stroke, new or recrudescent seizures, altered mentation with normal imaging, and neuro-COVID-19 complex. Factors present on admission were analyzed as potential predictors of in-hospital mortality, including sociodemographic variables, preexisting comorbidities, vital signs, laboratory values, and pattern of neurologic manifestations. Significant predictors were incorporated into a disease severity score. Patients with neurologic manifestations were matched with patients of the same age and disease severity to assess the risk of death. RESULTS: A total of 4,711 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were admitted to one medical system in New York City during a 6-week period. Of these, 581 (12%) had neurologic issues of sufficient concern to warrant neuroimaging. These patients were compared to 1,743 non-neurologic patients with COVID-19 matched for age and disease severity admitted during the same period. Patients with altered mentation (n = 258, p = 0.04, odds ratio [OR] 1.39, confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.86) or radiologically confirmed stroke (n = 55, p = 0.001, OR 3.1, CI 1.65-5.92) had a higher risk of mortality than age- and severity-matched controls. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of altered mentation or stroke on admission predicts a modest but significantly higher risk of in-hospital mortality independent of disease severity. While other biomarker factors also predict mortality, measures to identify and treat such patients may be important in reducing overall mortality of COVID-19.

COVID-19/mortality , Confusion/physiopathology , Consciousness Disorders/physiopathology , Hospital Mortality , Stroke/physiopathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/physiopathology , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/physiopathology , Ataxia/epidemiology , Ataxia/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Confusion/epidemiology , Consciousness Disorders/epidemiology , Cranial Nerve Diseases/epidemiology , Cranial Nerve Diseases/physiopathology , Delirium/epidemiology , Delirium/physiopathology , Female , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/physiopathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Paresthesia/epidemiology , Paresthesia/physiopathology , Primary Dysautonomias/epidemiology , Primary Dysautonomias/physiopathology , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/epidemiology , Seizures/physiopathology , Stroke/epidemiology , Vertigo/epidemiology , Vertigo/physiopathology
Epilepsia Open ; 5(2): 314-324, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601458


OBJECTIVE: Acute encephalopathy may occur in COVID-19-infected patients. We investigated whether medically indicated EEGs performed in acutely ill patients under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 report epileptiform abnormalities and whether these are more prevalent in COVID-19 positive than negative patients. METHODS: In this retrospective case series, adult COVID-19 inpatient PUIs underwent EEGs for acute encephalopathy and/or seizure-like events. PUIs had 8-channel headband EEGs (Ceribell; 20 COVID-19 positive, 6 COVID-19 negative); 2 more COVID-19 patients had routine EEGs. Overall, 26 Ceribell EEGs, 4 routine and 7 continuous EEG studies were reviewed. EEGs were interpreted by board-certified clinical neurophysiologists (n = 16). EEG findings were correlated with demographic data, clinical presentation and history, and medication usage. Fisher's exact test was used. RESULTS: We included 28 COVID-19 PUIs (30-83 years old), of whom 22 tested positive (63.6% males) and 6 tested negative (33.3% male). The most common indications for EEG, among COVID-19-positive vs COVID-19-negative patients, respectively, were new onset encephalopathy (68.2% vs 33.3%) and seizure-like events (14/22, 63.6%; 2/6, 33.3%), even among patients without prior history of seizures (11/17, 64.7%; 2/6, 33.3%). Sporadic epileptiform discharges (EDs) were present in 40.9% of COVID-19-positive and 16.7% of COVID-19-negative patients; frontal sharp waves were reported in 8/9 (88.9%) of COVID-19-positive patients with EDs and in 1/1 of COVID-19-negative patient with EDs. No electrographic seizures were captured, but 19/22 COVID-19-positive and 6/6 COVID-19-negative patients were given antiseizure medications and/or sedatives before the EEG. SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first preliminary report of EDs in the EEG of acutely ill COVID-19-positive patients with encephalopathy or suspected clinical seizures. EDs are relatively common in this cohort and typically appear as frontal sharp waves. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and evaluate the potential direct or indirect effects of COVID-19 on activating epileptic activity.