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1.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430768

ABSTRACT

A growing body of evidence initially suggested that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) might be more susceptible to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, it was speculated that patients with MS treated with immunosuppressive drugs might be at risk to develop a severe diseases course after infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV2). However, the recently published data have shown that MS patients do not have a higher risk for severe COVID-19. Although there is no indication that patients with MS and immunomodulatory/immunosuppressive therapy are generally at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is currently being emphasized that the hazards of poorly treated MS may outweigh the putative COVID-19 dangers. In this review, we discuss the challenges and considerations for MS patients in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Multiple Sclerosis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy
2.
Nervenarzt ; 92(6): 521-530, 2021 Jun.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116542

ABSTRACT

Many neuroimmunological diseases, such as encephalopathy, encephalitis, myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) have occurred more frequently after infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which indicates a parainfectious or postinfectious association. The most likely underlying mechanisms include virus-triggered overactivation of the immune system with hyperinflammation and cytokine storm but potentially also the development of specific autoantibodies against central nervous system (CNS) tissue. These were predominantly detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of severely ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In contrast, direct damage after invasion of SARS-CoV­2 into the brain and spinal cord does not seem to play a relevant role. Susceptibility to infection with SARS-CoV­2 in patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia or other neuroimmunological diseases including the risk for severe disease courses, is not determined by the administered immunotherapy but by known risk factors, such as age, comorbidities and the disease-related degree of disability. Therefore, immunotherapy in these patients should not be delayed or discontinued. The contribution of neuroimmunological mechanisms to long-term sequelae after survival of a COVID-19 illness, such as fatigue, impairment of memory, sleep dysfunction or anxiety, will require long-term clinical follow-up, preferentially in COVID-19 register studies.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases , COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Humans , Neuroimmunomodulation , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Clin Med ; 9(12)2020 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979106

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is a challenge for all participants in the healthcare system. At the beginning of the pandemic, many physicians asked themselves what risk their patients, especially those with chronic diseases, were exposed to. We present an overview of all patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and SARS-CoV-2 infection published in the literature so far. In total, there are publications on 873 SARS-CoV-2 positive MS patients and information on the outcome can be given for 700 patients. With regard to the different disease modifying therapies (DMTs), by far the most cases were described under anti-CD20 treatment (n = 317). The mortality rate of all MS patients was 4% and a further 3% required invasive or non-invasive ventilation. When looking at the severe and fatal cases, it is particularly noticeable that patients without DMTs, with previous cardiovascular diseases, or with a severe degree of disability are at risk. Immunosuppressive therapy itself does not appear to be a substantial risk factor. Rather, it is reasonable to assume that the therapies could be protective, either directly, by mitigating the cytokine storm, or indirectly, by reducing the disease activity of MS.

5.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1059, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-468036

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic keeps the world in suspense. In addition to the fundamental challenges for the health care system, the individual departments must decide how to deal with patients at risk. Neurologists are confronted with the question, how they should advise their patients regarding immunosuppressive treatment. In particular, the large number of different disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in the treatment of neuroimmunological diseases such as multiple sclerosis poses a challenge. To a limited extent, it might be useful to transfer knowledge from previous SARS- and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus outbreaks in 2002/2003 and 2012 to the current situation. Overall, immunosuppressive therapy does neither seem to have a major impact on infection with SARS- and MERS-CoV nor does it seem to lead to a severe disease course in many cases. Considering the immunological responses against infections with novel coronaviruses in humans, interferons, glatiramer acetate, and teriflunomide appear to be safe. As lymphopenia seems to be associated with a more severe disease course, all DMTs causing lymphopenia, such as cladribine, alemtuzumab, and dimethyl fumarate, need to be reviewed more thoroughly. As they are, in general, associated with a higher risk of infection, depleting anti-CD20 antibodies may be problematic drugs. However, it has to be differentiated between the depletion phase and the phase of immune reconstitution. In summary, previous coronavirus outbreaks have not shown an increased risk for immunocompromised patients. Patients with severe neuroimmunological diseases should be kept from hasty discontinuation of immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Age Factors , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Sex Factors
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