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J Neurol ; 269(1): 12-18, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258215


BACKGROUND: Altered mental status (AMS) is a common neurological manifestation of COVID-19 infection in hospitalized patients. The principal causes of AMS have yet to be determined. We aimed to identify the common causes of AMS in patients with COVID-19 presenting to the emergency department with AMS on arrival. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study of patients presenting with AMS to three New York hospitals, from March 1 to April 16, 2020. Underlying causes of AMS on arrival to the emergency department (ED) were categorized as (1) neurological causes (stroke, seizure, encephalitis); (2) metabolic encephalopathy; (3) indeterminant. Multivariable analysis was used to assess independent predictors. RESULTS: Overall, 166 patients presented to the ED with AMS. Metabolic encephalopathy was diagnosed as the cause in 154 (92.8%), with 118 (71.1%) categorized as multifactorial ME and 36 (21.7%) with single-cause ME. Hypoxia 103 (62.0%) and renal failure 75 (45.2%) were the most common underlying mechanisms. Neurological causes of AMS occurred in a total 20 patients (12%) and as the sole factor in 5 (3.0%); 10 (6.0%) cases were seizure related and 10 (6.0%) were cerebrovascular events. Of the 7 patients with indeterminant causes, only 1 was suspicious for encephalitis (0.6%). Age, pre-existing dementia and cerebrovascular disease, and impaired renal function were independent predictors of AMS. CONCLUSION: In patients with COVID-19, AMS on presentation to the ED is most frequently caused by metabolic encephalopathy (delirium). Seizures and cerebrovascular events contribute to a lesser degree; encephalitis appears rare.

COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/epidemiology , Seizures/etiology
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
Neurology ; 95(13): 583-592, 2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945310


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic epicenter in Bronx, NY, the Montefiore Neuroscience Center required rapid and drastic changes when considering the delivery of neurologic care, health and safety of staff, and continued education and safety for house staff. Health care leaders rely on principles that can be in conflict during a disaster response such as this pandemic, with equal commitments to ensure the best care for those stricken with COVID-19, provide high-quality care and advocacy for patients and families coping with neurologic disease, and advocate for the health and safety of health care teams, particularly house staff and colleagues who are most vulnerable. In our attempt to balance these principles, over 3 weeks, we reformatted our inpatient neuroscience services by reducing from 4 wards to just 1, in the following weeks delivering care to over 600 hospitalized patients with neuro-COVID and over 1,742 total neuroscience hospital bed days. This description from members of our leadership team provides an on-the-ground account of our effort to respond nimbly to a complex and evolving surge of patients with COVID in a large urban hospital network. Our efforts were based on (1) strategies to mitigate exposure and transmission, (2) protection of the health and safety of staff, (3) alleviation of logistical delays and strains in the system, and (4) facilitating coordinated communication. Each center's experience will add to knowledge of best practices, and emerging research will help us gain insights into an evidence-based approach to neurologic care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Infections , Hospital Departments/organization & administration , Medical Staff, Hospital/organization & administration , Neurology/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Ambulatory Care , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Delivery of Health Care , Hospital Units/organization & administration , Hospitalization , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Neurology/education , Neuroscience Nursing , Nursing Staff, Hospital/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Text Messaging