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2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3019-e3026, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent findings indicated that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-related neurological manifestations involve cytokine release syndrome along with endothelial activation, blood brain barrier dysfunction, and immune-mediated mechanisms. Very few studies have fully investigated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) correlates of SARS-CoV-2 encephalitis. METHODS: Patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and encephalitis (COV-Enc), encephalitis without SARS-CoV-2 infection (ENC), and healthy controls (HC) underwent an extended panel of CSF neuronal (neurofilament light chain [NfL], T-tau), glial (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 [sTREM2], chitinase-3-like protein 1 [YKL-40]) and inflammatory biomarkers (interleukin [IL]-1ß, IL-6, Il-8, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] α, CXCL-13, and ß2-microglobulin). RESULTS: Thirteen COV-Enc, 21 ENC, and 18 HC entered the study. In COV-Enc cases, CSF was negative for SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR but exhibited increased IL-8 levels independently from presence of pleocytosis/hyperproteinorracchia. COV-Enc patients showed increased IL-6, TNF- α, and ß2-microglobulin and glial markers (GFAP, sTREM2, YKL-40) levels similar to ENC but normal CXCL13 levels. Neuronal markers NfL and T-tau were abnormal only in severe cases. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2-related encephalitis were associated with prominent glial activation and neuroinflammatory markers, whereas neuronal markers were increased in severe cases only. The pattern of CSF alterations suggested a cytokine-release syndrome as the main inflammatory mechanism of SARS-CoV-2-related encephalitis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Neurol Sci ; 43(1): 99-104, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446168

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: It is reported that recovery from COVID-19 chemosensory deficit generally occurs in a few weeks, although olfactory dysfunction may persist longer. Here, we provide a detailed follow-up clinical investigation in a very young female patient (17-year-old) with a long-lasting anosmia after a mild infection, with partial recovery 15 months after the onset. METHODS: Neuroimaging and neurophysiologic assessments as well as olfactory mucosa swabbing for microbiological and immunocytochemical analyses were performed. Olfactory and gustatory evaluations were conducted through validated tests. RESULTS: Chemosensory evaluations were consistent with anosmia associated with parosmia phenomena and gustatory impairment, the latter less persistent. Brain MRI (3.0 T) showed no microvascular injury in olfactory bulbs and brain albeit we cannot rule out slight structural abnormalities during the acute phase, and a high-density EEG was negative. Immunocytochemistry of olfactory mucosa swabs showed high expression of ACE2 in sustentacular cells and lower dot-like cytoplasmic positivity in neuronal-shaped cells. DISCUSSION: The occurrence of long-term persistent olfactory deficit in spite of the absence of structural brain and olfactory bulb involvement supports the view of a possible persistent dysfunction of both sustentacular cells and olfactory neurons. The gustatory dysfunction even if less persisting for the described features could be related to a primary gustatory system involvement. Future longitudinal studies are needed to investigate the persistence of chemosensory impairment, which could have a relevant impact on the daily life.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Adolescent , Female , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste Disorders
4.
Neurol Sci ; 42(11): 4425-4431, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted the Italian healthcare system, underscoring a dramatic shortage of specialized doctors in many disciplines. The situation affected the activity of the residents in neurology, who were also offered the possibility of being formally hired before their training completion. AIMS: (1) To showcase examples of clinical and research activity of residents in neurology during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and (2) to illustrate the point of view of Italian residents in neurology about the possibility of being hired before the completion of their residency program. RESULTS: Real-life reports from several areas in Lombardia-one of the Italian regions more affected by COVID-19-show that residents in neurology gave an outstanding demonstration of generosity, collaboration, reliability, and adaptation to the changing environment, while continuing their clinical training and research activities. A very small minority of the residents participated in the dedicated selections for being hired before completion of their training program. The large majority of them prioritized their training over the option of earlier employment. CONCLUSIONS: Italian residents in neurology generously contributed to the healthcare management of the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, while remaining determined to pursue their training. Neurology is a rapidly evolving clinical field due to continuous diagnostic and therapeutic progress. Stakeholders need to listen to the strong message conveyed by our residents in neurology and endeavor to provide them with the most adequate training, to ensure high quality of care and excellence in research in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Immunol Res ; 69(6): 553-557, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345196

ABSTRACT

The persistence of neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the presence of late axonal damage, is still unknown. We performed extensive systemic and neurological follow-up evaluations in 107 out of 193 consecutive patients admitted to the COVID-19 medical unit, University Hospital of Verona, Italy between March and June 2020. We analysed serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in all cases including a subgroup (n = 29) of patients with available onset samples. Comparisons between clinical and biomarker data were then performed. Neurological symptoms were still present in a significant number (n = 49) of patients over the follow-up. The most common reported symptoms were hyposmia (n = 11), fatigue (n = 28), myalgia (n = 14), and impaired memory (n = 11) and were more common in cases with severe acute COVID-19. Follow-up serum NfL values (15.2 pg/mL, range 2.4-62.4) were within normal range in all except 5 patients and did not differentiate patients with vs without persistent neurological symptoms. In patients with available onset and follow-up samples, a significant (p < 0.001) decrease of NfL levels was observed and was more evident in patients with a severe acute disease. Despite the common persistence of neurological symptoms, COVID-19 survivors do not show active axonal damage, which seems a peculiar feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Axons/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/pathology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/pathology , Anosmia/virology , Axons/virology , Disease Progression , Fatigue/pathology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Memory Disorders/pathology , Memory Disorders/virology , Middle Aged , Myalgia/pathology , Myalgia/virology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Neurol Sci ; 41(6): 1355-1359, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306190

ABSTRACT

Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 have been described in both single case reports and retrospective scanty case series. They may be linked to the potential neurotropism of the SARS-COV-2 virus, as previously demonstrated for other coronaviruses. We report here the description of a multicenter retrospective-prospective observational study promoted by the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN), involving the Italian Neurological Departments, who will consecutively recruit patients with neurological symptoms and/or signs, occurred at the onset or as a complication of COVID-19. Hospitalized patients will be recruited either in neurological wards or in COVID wards; in the latter cases, they will be referred from other specialists to participant neurologists. Outpatients with clinical signs of COVID and neurological manifestations will be also referred to participating neurologists from primary care physicians. A comprehensive data collection, in the form of electronic case report form (eCRF), will register all possible neurological manifestations involving central nervous systems, peripheral nerves, and muscles, together with clinical, laboratory (including cerebrospinal fluid, if available), imaging, neurological, neurophysiological, and neuropsychological data. A follow-up at hospital discharge (in hospitalized patients), and for all patients after 3 and 6 months, is also planned. We believe that this study may help to intercept the full spectrum of neurological manifestations of COVID-19 and, given the large diffusion at national level, can provide a large cohort of patients available for future more focused investigations. Similar observational studies might also be proposed at international level to better define the neurological involvement of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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