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Eur J Neurol ; 29(6): 1685-1696, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759178


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological sequelae from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may persist after recovery from acute infection. Here, the aim was to describe the natural history of neurological manifestations over 1 year after COVID-19. METHODS: A prospective, multicentre, longitudinal cohort study in COVID-19 survivors was performed. At a 3-month and 1-year follow-up, patients were assessed for neurological impairments by a neurological examination and a standardized test battery including the assessment of hyposmia (16-item Sniffin' Sticks test), cognitive deficits (Montreal Cognitive Assessment < 26) and mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist 5). RESULTS: Eighty-one patients were evaluated 1 year after COVID-19, out of which 76 (94%) patients completed a 3-month and 1-year follow-up. Patients were 54 (47-64) years old and 59% were male. New and persistent neurological disorders were found in 15% (3 months) and 12% (10/81; 1 year). Symptoms at 1-year follow-up were reported by 48/81 (59%) patients, including fatigue (38%), concentration difficulties (25%), forgetfulness (25%), sleep disturbances (22%), myalgia (17%), limb weakness (17%), headache (16%), impaired sensation (16%) and hyposmia (15%). Neurological examination revealed findings in 52/81 (64%) patients without improvement over time (3 months, 61%, p = 0.230) including objective hyposmia (Sniffin' Sticks test <13; 51%). Cognitive deficits were apparent in 18%, whereas signs of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders were found in 6%, 29% and 10% respectively 1 year after infection. These mental and cognitive disorders had not improved after the 3-month follow-up (all p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that a significant patient number still suffer from neurological sequelae including neuropsychiatric symptoms 1 year after COVID-19 calling for interdisciplinary management of these patients.

COVID-19 , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2