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Cerebellum ; 20(1): 4-8, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064615


The virtual practice has made major advances in the way that we care for patients in the modern era. The culture of virtual practice, consulting, and telemedicine, which had started several years ago, took an accelerated leap as humankind was challenged by the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID19). The social distancing measures and lockdowns imposed in many countries left medical care providers with limited options in evaluating ambulatory patients, pushing the rapid transition to assessments via virtual platforms. In this novel arena of medical practice, which may form new norms beyond the current pandemic crisis, we found it critical to define guidelines on the recommended practice in neurotology, including remote methods in examining the vestibular and eye movement function. The proposed remote examination methods aim to reliably diagnose acute and subacute diseases of the inner-ear, brainstem, and the cerebellum. A key aim was to triage patients into those requiring urgent emergency room assessment versus non-urgent but expedited outpatient management. Physicians who had expertise in managing patients with vestibular disorders were invited to participate in the taskforce. The focus was on two topics: (1) an adequate eye movement and vestibular examination strategy using virtual platforms and (2) a decision pathway providing guidance about which patient should seek urgent medical care and which patient should have non-urgent but expedited outpatient management.

COVID-19 , Neurologic Examination/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Triage/methods , Vestibular Diseases/diagnosis , Consensus , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3461-3466, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889737


BACKGROUND: Outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD), often treated with immunosuppressive therapies, are still unknown. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, retrospective, observational cohort study among all French expert centers for neuromyelitis optica and related disorders. Patients with NMOSD or MOGAD included in the study received a confirmed or highly suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Main outcome was COVID-19 severity score assessed on a seven-point ordinal scale ranging from 1 (not hospitalized with no limitations on activities) to 7 (death). RESULTS: Fifteen cases (mean [SD] age: 39.3 [14.3] years, 11 female) were included. Five patients (33.3%) were hospitalized, all receiving rituximab. A 24-year-old patient with positive aquaporine-4 antibody, with obesity as comorbidity, needed mechanical ventilation. Outpatients were receiving anti-CD20 (5), mycophenolate mofetil (3) or azathioprine (3). They were younger (mean [SD] age: 37.0 [13.4] years), with a longer disease duration (mean [SD]: 8.3 [6.3] years) and had a lower expanded disability severity score (EDSS) score (median [range] EDSS: 2.5 [0-4]) relative to patients requiring hospitalization (mean [SD] age: 44.0 [16.4] years, mean [SD] disease duration: 5.8 [5.5] years, median [range] EDSS: 4 [0-6.5]). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 outcome was overall favorable in this cohort. Larger international studies are needed to identify risk factors of severe COVID-19; however, we recommend personal protective measures to reduce risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in this immunocompromised population.

COVID-19 , Neuromyelitis Optica , Adult , Aquaporin 4 , Female , Humans , Neuromyelitis Optica/drug therapy , Neuromyelitis Optica/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Rituximab , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
JAMA Neurol ; 77(9): 1079-1088, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-616243


Importance: Risk factors associated with the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are unknown. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) may modify the risk of developing a severe COVID-19 infection, beside identified risk factors such as age and comorbidities. Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients with MS and COVID-19 and identify factors associated with COVID-19 severity. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Covisep registry is a multicenter, retrospective, observational cohort study conducted in MS expert centers and general hospitals and with neurologists collaborating with MS expert centers and members of the Société Francophone de la Sclérose en Plaques. The study included patients with MS presenting with a confirmed or highly suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and May 21, 2020. Exposures: COVID-19 diagnosed with a polymerase chain reaction test on a nasopharyngeal swab, thoracic computed tomography, or typical symptoms. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was COVID-19 severity assessed on a 7-point ordinal scale (ranging from 1 [not hospitalized with no limitations on activities] to 7 [death]) with a cutoff at 3 (hospitalized and not requiring supplemental oxygen). We collected demographics, neurological history, Expanded Disability Severity Scale score (EDSS; ranging from 0 to 10, with cutoffs at 3 and 6), comorbidities, COVID-19 characteristics, and outcomes. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the association of collected variables with COVID-19 outcomes. Results: A total of 347 patients (mean [SD] age, 44.6 [12.8] years, 249 women; mean [SD] disease duration, 13.5 [10.0] years) were analyzed. Seventy-three patients (21.0%) had a COVID-19 severity score of 3 or more, and 12 patients (3.5%) died of COVID-19. The median EDSS was 2.0 (range, 0-9.5), and 284 patients (81.8%) were receiving DMT. There was a higher proportion of patients with a COVID-19 severity score of 3 or more among patients with no DMT relative to patients receiving DMTs (46.0% vs 15.5%; P < .001). Multivariate logistic regression models determined that age (odds ratio per 10 years: 1.9 [95% CI, 1.4-2.5]), EDSS (OR for EDSS ≥6, 6.3 [95% CI. 2.8-14.4]), and obesity (OR, 3.0 [95% CI, 1.0-8.7]) were independent risk factors for a COVID-19 severity score of 3 or more (indicating hospitalization or higher severity). The EDSS was associated with the highest variability of COVID-19 severe outcome (R2, 0.2), followed by age (R2, 0.06) and obesity (R2, 0.01). Conclusions and Relevance: In this registry-based cohort study of patients with MS, age, EDSS, and obesity were independent risk factors for severe COVID-19; there was no association found between DMTs exposure and COVID-19 severity. The identification of these risk factors should provide the rationale for an individual strategy regarding clinical management of patients with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adult , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Registries , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome