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1.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 2022 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764861

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This is the study plan of the Karolinska NeuroCOVID study, a study of neurocognitive impairment after severe COVID-19, relating post-intensive care unit (ICU) cognitive and neurological deficits to biofluid markers and MRI. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed enormous health challenges to individuals and health-care systems worldwide. An emerging feature of severe COVID-19 is that of temporary and extended neurocognitive impairment, exhibiting a myriad of symptoms and signs. The causes of this symptomatology have not yet been fully elucidated. METHODS: In this study, we aim to investigate patients treated for severe COVID-19 in the ICU, as to describe and relate serum-, plasma- and cerebrospinal fluid-borne molecular and cellular biomarkers of immune activity, coagulopathy, cerebral damage, neuronal inflammation, and degeneration, to the temporal development of structural and functional changes within the brain as evident by serial MRI and extensive cognitive assessments at 3-12 months after ICU discharge. RESULTS: To date, we have performed 51 3-month follow-up MRIs in the ICU survivors. Of these, two patients (~4%) have had incidental findings on brain MRI findings requiring activation of the Incidental Findings Management Plan. Furthermore, the neuropsychological and neurological examinations have so far revealed varying and mixed patterns. Several patients expressed cognitive and/or mental concerns and fatigue, complaints closely related to brain fog. CONCLUSION: The study goal is to gain a better understanding of the pathological mechanisms and neurological consequences of this new disease, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory processes, in order to identify targets of intervention and rehabilitation.

2.
J Infect Dis ; 225(6): 965-970, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740882

ABSTRACT

Antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 16 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 and neurological symptoms were assessed using 2 independent methods. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) specific for the virus spike protein was found in 81% of patients in serum and in 56% in CSF. SARS-CoV-2 IgG in CSF was observed in 2 patients with negative serological findings. Levels of IgG in both serum and CSF were associated with disease severity (P < .05). All patients with elevated markers of central nervous system damage in CSF also had CSF antibodies (P = .002), and CSF antibodies had the highest predictive value for neuronal damage markers of all tested clinical variables.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Nervous System Diseases/blood , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibody Formation , Biomarkers/blood , Biomarkers/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310699

ABSTRACT

Background: Several reports on neurological complications associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection have been published. However, systematic description on intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) are still missing. Methods: : The objective was to determine the incidence and characteristics of critical illness polyneuropathy (CIN) and myopathy (CIM) in patients with severe COVID-19. We also aimed to describe the electrophysiological features and their relation to plasma biomarkers for neuronal injury. This was a prospective observational intensive care unit cohort study. All adult patients admitted to the general intensive care unit (ICU) at Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, between March 13 and June 8, 2020 were screened for inclusion. Patients with PCR confirmed COVID-19 were included. All patients were admitted to intensive care treatment due to severe COVID-19, including intravenous anaesthesia, opioid anaelgesia, neuromuscular blockade and mechanical ventilation. Associations of clinical, electrophysiological (sensory and motor conduction studies and electromyography) and biomarker data [neurofilament light chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp) and tau] were studied between COVID-19 patients who developed CIN/CIM and those who did not. Results: : 111 COVID-19 patients were included, 11 (11 males, mean age: 64 years) developed CIN/CIM whereas 100 (74 males, mean age: 61 years) did not (non-CIN/CIM). The CIN/CIM incidence was higher in COVID-19 patients compared to a general ICU-population treated during 2019 (9.9% vs 3.4%). In particular CIN was more frequent in the COVID-19 ICU cohort (50%) compared with the non-COVID-19 ICU cohort (0%, p=0.008). NfL and GFAp levels were higher in the CIN/CIM group both at the early (<9 days) and late time points (>11 days) compared with the non-CIN/CIM group (both p=0.001) and correlated with nerve amplitudes. Conclusions: : CIN/CIM, in particular CIN, were more prevalent among COVID-19 patients than an ICU treated control cohort and should be considered in the differential diagnostic workup and the further rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients who later developed ICUAW had significantly higher NfL and GFAp in the early phase of ICU care, which suggests their potential as predictive biomarkers. Trial registration: The study protocol was registered (ClinicalTrialsID:NCT04316884). Mechanisms for Organ Dysfunction in Covid-19 (UMODCOVID19) March 18, 2020.

4.
Alzheimers Dement (Amst) ; 13(1): e12145, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680307

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study investigated alternative pre-analytical handling of blood for neurofilament light (NfL) analysis where resources are limited. METHOD: Plasma NfL was measured with single molecule array after alternative blood processing procedures: dried plasma spots (DPS), dried blood spots (DBS), and delayed 48-hour centrifugation. These were compared to standardized plasma processing (reference standard [RS]). In a discovery cohort (n = 10) and a confirmatory cohort (n = 21), whole blood was obtained from individuals with unknown clinical etiology. In the confirmatory cohort, delayed centrifugation protocol was paired with either 37°C incubation or sample shaking to test the effect of these parameters. RESULTS: Delayed centrifugation (R2 = 0.991) and DPS (discovery cohort, R2 = 0.954; confirmatory cohort, DPS: R2 = 0.961) methods were strongly associated with the RS. Delayed centrifugation with higher temperatures (R2 = 0.995) and shaking (R2 = 0.975) did not affect this association. DPS (P < 0.001) returned concentrations considerably lower than the RS. DISCUSSION: DPS or delayed centrifugation are viable pre-analytical procedures for the accurate quantification of plasma NfL.

5.
J Neurochem ; 2022 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673193

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection can damage the nervous system with multiple neurological manifestations described. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying COVID-19 neurological injury. This is a cross-sectional exploratory prospective biomarker cohort study of 21 patients with COVID-19 neurological syndromes (Guillain-Barre Syndrome [GBS], encephalitis, encephalopathy, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis [ADEM], intracranial hypertension, and central pain syndrome) and 23 healthy COVID-19 negative controls. We measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum biomarkers of amyloid processing, neuronal injury (neurofilament light), astrocyte activation (GFAp), and neuroinflammation (tissue necrosis factor [TNF] ɑ, interleukin [IL]-6, IL-1ß, IL-8). Patients with COVID-19 neurological syndromes had significantly reduced CSF soluble amyloid precursor protein (sAPP)-ɑ (p = 0.004) and sAPPß (p = 0.03) as well as amyloid ß (Aß) 40 (p = 5.2 × 10-8 ), Aß42 (p = 3.5 × 10-7 ), and Aß42/Aß40 ratio (p = 0.005) compared to controls. Patients with COVID-19 neurological syndromes showed significantly increased neurofilament light (NfL, p = 0.001) and this negatively correlated with sAPPɑ and sAPPß. Conversely, GFAp was significantly reduced in COVID-19 neurological syndromes (p = 0.0001) and this positively correlated with sAPPɑ and sAPPß. COVID-19 neurological patients also displayed significantly increased CSF proinflammatory cytokines and these negatively correlated with sAPPɑ and sAPPß. A sensitivity analysis of COVID-19-associated GBS revealed a non-significant trend toward greater impairment of amyloid processing in COVID-19 central than peripheral neurological syndromes. This pilot study raises the possibility that patients with COVID-19-associated neurological syndromes exhibit impaired amyloid processing. Altered amyloid processing was linked to neuronal injury and neuroinflammation but reduced astrocyte activation.

6.
Alzheimer's & Dementia ; 17(S6):e055939, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1589217

ABSTRACT

Background Neurocognitive manifestations of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported in the acute phase, especially in critically ill patients. The potential mechanisms underlying these symptoms are not fully understood but probably involves the inflammatory, vascular, and neurotropic effect of the coronavirus. While short-, mid-and long-term consequences remain unclear, patients with neurocognitive sequelae reminiscent of other cognitive disorders, including AD have been reported. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is an increased risk for long-term cognitive dysfunction/impairment, biochemical and structural brain changes after a severe COVID-19. Method This is a prospective cohort study of 80 patients surviving intensive-care for COVID-19 at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. They will be examined at 3, 6 and 12 months after hospital discharge using neurological and neuropsychological (NP) tests combined with novel quantitative brain MRI and serial blood sampling to described relevant blood-borne molecular patterns. This presentation focuses on NP testing, cognitive, mental, and neurological aspects at 3 months follow-up. Cognitive testing and questionnaires (NP) include Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test Rey Complex Figure test, Verbal Fluency Test, Category flow, Trail Making Test Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Mental Fatigue Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, RAND-36, AD8 Dementia Screening Interview and Subjective cognitive decline questions. A detailed neurological examination (neurologist), including Expanded Disability Status Scale, an adapted version of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale for extrapyramidal dysfunction, and a brief smell test. Results At present, 28 participants have completed the 3-months follow-up visit, including neuropsychological and neurological examinations. Mean age (SD) at baseline was 57.8 (11.1) years, and 68% were men. Several patients expressed cognitive and/or mental concerns and fatigue. The neuropsychological and neurological examinations have so far revealed varying and mixed patterns. Brain MRI revealed mainly microvascular pathology. Detailed analyses, including blood biomarkers for neuronal injury and astrocytic activation, based on the 3-months examination will be presented. Conclusions Repeated examinations will allow further analyses on longer term impact on cognition and underlying mechanisms. This may identify patients at risk and possible ways to mitigate cognitive complications, which is of great importance to reduce the pandemic's negative effects and socioeconomic burden.

7.
Alzheimer's & Dementia ; 17(S5):e057889, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1589188

ABSTRACT

Background Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We wished to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19. Method Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analyzed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15). Result We recruited 100 patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 who were followed for a median of (IQR) 225 (187?262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0.001) and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0.001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0.05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0.53, p < 0.001) and GFAp (r = 0.39, p < 0.001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly included fatigue (n = 40), ?brain-fog? (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no relation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase. Conclusion The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicate that post-acute COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury. Although injury biomarkers commonly increase in severe acute COVID-19, further investigations into the causes of post-infectious sequelae are needed.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295590

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has been associated with many neurological complications including stroke, delirium and encephalitis. Furthermore, many individuals experience a protracted post-viral syndrome which is dominated by neuropsychiatric symptoms, and is seemingly unrelated to COVID-19 severity. The true frequency and underlying mechanisms of neurological injury are unknown, but exaggerated host inflammatory responses appear to be a key driver of severe COVID-19 more broadly. We sought to investigate the dynamics of, and relationship between, serum markers of brain injury (neurofilament light [NfL], Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein [GFAP] and total Tau) and markers of dysregulated host response including measures of autoinflammation (proinflammatory cytokines) and autoimmunity. Brain injury biomarkers were measured using the Quanterix Simoa HDx platform, cytokine profiling by Luminex (R&D) and autoantibodies by a custom protein microarray. During hospitalisation, patients with COVID-19 demonstrated elevations of NfL and GFAP in a severity-dependant manner, and there was evidence of ongoing active brain injury at follow-up 4 months later. Raised NfL and GFAP were associated with both elevations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the presence of autoantibodies;autoantibodies were commonly seen against lung surfactant proteins as well as brain proteins such as myelin associated glycoprotein, but reactivity was seen to a large number of different antigens. Furthermore, a distinct process characterised by elevation of serum total Tau was seen in patients at follow-up, which appeared to be independent of initial disease severity and was not associated with dysregulated immune responses in the same manner as NfL and GFAP.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293495

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has been associated with many neurological complications including stroke, delirium and encephalitis. Furthermore, many individuals experience a protracted post-viral syndrome which is dominated by neuropsychiatric symptoms, and is seemingly unrelated to COVID-19 severity. The true frequency and underlying mechanisms of neurological injury are unknown, but exaggerated host inflammatory responses appear to be a key driver of severe COVID-19 more broadly. We sought to investigate the dynamics of, and relationship between, serum markers of brain injury (neurofilament light [NfL], Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein [GFAP] and total Tau) and markers of dysregulated host response including measures of autoinflammation (proinflammatory cytokines) and autoimmunity. Brain injury biomarkers were measured using the Quanterix Simoa HDx platform, cytokine profiling by Luminex (R&D) and autoantibodies by a custom protein microarray. During hospitalisation, patients with COVID-19 demonstrated elevations of NfL and GFAP in a severity-dependant manner, and there was evidence of ongoing active brain injury at follow-up 4 months later. Raised NfL and GFAP were associated with both elevations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the presence of autoantibodies;autoantibodies were commonly seen against lung surfactant proteins as well as brain proteins such as myelin associated glycoprotein, but reactivity was seen to a large number of different antigens. Furthermore, a distinct process characterised by elevation of serum total Tau was seen in patients at follow-up, which appeared to be independent of initial disease severity and was not associated with dysregulated immune responses in the same manner as NfL and GFAP.

10.
J Neuroradiol ; 2021 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521436

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A wide range of neuroradiological findings has been reported in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ranging from subcortical white matter changes to infarcts, haemorrhages and focal contrast media enhancement. These have been descriptively but inconsistently reported and correlations with clinical findings and biomarkers have been difficult to extract from the literature. The purpose of this study was to quantify the extents of neuroradiological findings in a cohort of patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms, and to investigate correlations with clinical findings, duration of intensive care and biomarkers in blood. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 and at least one new-onset neurological symptom were included from April until July 2020. Nineteen patients were examined regarding clinical symptoms, biomarkers in blood and MRI of the brain. In order to quantify the MRI findings, a semi-quantitative neuroradiological severity scale was constructed a priori, and applied to the MR images by two specialists in neuroradiology. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The score from the severity scale correlated significantly with blood biomarkers of CNS injury (glial fibrillary acidic protein, total-tau, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1) and inflammation (C-reactive protein), Glasgow Coma Scale score, and the number of days spent in intensive care. The underlying radiological assessments had inter-rater agreements of 90.5%/86% (for assessments with 2/3 alternatives). Total intraclass correlation was 0.80. Previously reported neuroradiological findings in COVID-19 have been diverse and heterogenous. In this study, the extent of findings in MRI examination of the brain, quantified using a structured report, shows correlation with relevant biomarkers.

11.
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
12.
Cardiol Cardiovasc Med ; 5(5): 551-565, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498306

ABSTRACT

In critically ill COVID-19 patients, the risk of long-term neurological consequences is just beginning to be appreciated. While recent studies have identified that there is an increase in structural injury to the nervous system in critically ill COVID-19 patients, there is little known about the relationship of COVID-19 neurological damage to the systemic inflammatory diseases also observed in COVID-19 patients. The purpose of this pilot observational study was to examine the relationships between serum neurofilament light protein (NfL, a measure of neuronal injury) and co-morbid cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neurological complications in COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). In this observational study of one-hundred patients who were admitted to the ICU in Tucson, Arizona between April and August 2020, 89 were positive for COVID-19 (COVID-pos) and 11 was COVID-negative (COVID-neg). A healthy control group (n=8) was examined for comparison. The primary outcomes and measures were subject demographics, serum NfL, presence and extent of CVD, diabetes, sequential organ failure assessment score (SOFA), presence of neurological complications, and blood chemistry panel data. COVID-pos patients in the ICU had significantly higher mean levels of Nfl (229.6 ± 163 pg/ml) compared to COVID-neg ICU patients (19.3 ± 5.6 pg/ml), Welch's t-test, p =.01 and healthy controls (12.3 ± 3.1 pg/ml), Welch's t-test p =.005. Levels of Nfl in COVID-pos ICU patients were significantly higher in patients with concomitant CVD and diabetes (n=35, log Nfl 1.6±.09), and correlated with higher SOFA scores (r=.5, p =.001). These findings suggest that in severe COVID-19 disease, the central neuronal and axonal damage in these patients may be driven, in part, by the level of systemic cardiovascular disease and peripheral inflammation. Understanding the contributions of systemic inflammatory disease to central neurological degeneration in these COVID-19 survivors will be important to the design of interventional therapies to prevent long-term neurological and cognitive dysfunction.

13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488609

ABSTRACT

A wide range of neurological manifestations have been associated with the development of COVID-19 following SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the etiology of the neurological symptomatology is still largely unexplored. Here, we used state-of-the-art multiplexed immunostaining of human brains (n = 6 COVID-19, median age = 69.5 years; n = 7 control, median age = 68 years) and demonstrated that expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is restricted to a subset of neurovascular pericytes. Strikingly, neurological symptoms were exclusive to, and ubiquitous in, patients that exhibited moderate to high ACE2 expression in perivascular cells. Viral dsRNA was identified in the vascular wall and paralleled by perivascular inflammation, as signified by T cell and macrophage infiltration. Furthermore, fibrinogen leakage indicated compromised integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Notably, cerebrospinal fluid from additional 16 individuals (n = 8 COVID-19, median age = 67 years; n = 8 control, median age = 69.5 years) exhibited significantly lower levels of the pericyte marker PDGFRß in SARS-CoV-2-infected cases, indicative of disrupted pericyte homeostasis. We conclude that pericyte infection by SARS-CoV-2 underlies virus entry into the privileged central nervous system space, as well as neurological symptomatology due to perivascular inflammation and a locally compromised blood-brain barrier.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Brain/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Encephalitis, Viral/virology , Pericytes/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/etiology , Case-Control Studies , Encephalitis, Viral/pathology , Fibrinogen/metabolism , Humans , Immunohistochemistry/methods , Mice , Pericytes/metabolism , Pericytes/pathology , Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta/cerebrospinal fluid
14.
Brain Commun ; 3(3): fcab099, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358433

ABSTRACT

Preliminary pathological and biomarker data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection can damage the nervous system. To understand what, where and how damage occurs, we collected serum and CSF from patients with COVID-19 and characterized neurological syndromes involving the PNS and CNS (n = 34). We measured biomarkers of neuronal damage and neuroinflammation, and compared these with non-neurological control groups, which included patients with (n = 94) and without (n = 24) COVID-19. We detected increased concentrations of neurofilament light, a dynamic biomarker of neuronal damage, in the CSF of those with CNS inflammation (encephalitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis) [14 800 pg/ml (400, 32 400)], compared to those with encephalopathy [1410 pg/ml (756, 1446)], peripheral syndromes (Guillain-Barré syndrome) [740 pg/ml (507, 881)] and controls [872 pg/ml (654, 1200)]. Serum neurofilament light levels were elevated across patients hospitalized with COVID-19, irrespective of neurological manifestations. There was not the usual close correlation between CSF and serum neurofilament light, suggesting serum neurofilament light elevation in the non-neurological patients may reflect peripheral nerve damage in response to severe illness. We did not find significantly elevated levels of serum neurofilament light in community cases of COVID-19 arguing against significant neurological damage. Glial fibrillary acidic protein, a marker of astrocytic activation, was not elevated in the CSF or serum of any group, suggesting astrocytic activation is not a major mediator of neuronal damage in COVID-19.

15.
EClinicalMedicine ; 39: 101070, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351631

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A high prevalence of antiphospholipid antibodies has been reported in case series of patients with neurological manifestations and COVID-19; however, the pathogenicity of antiphospholipid antibodies in COVID-19 neurology remains unclear. METHODS: This single-centre cross-sectional study included 106 adult patients: 30 hospitalised COVID-neurological cases, 47 non-neurological COVID-hospitalised controls, and 29 COVID-non-hospitalised controls, recruited between March and July 2020. We evaluated nine antiphospholipid antibodies: anticardiolipin antibodies [aCL] IgA, IgM, IgG; anti-beta-2 glycoprotein-1 [aß2GPI] IgA, IgM, IgG; anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin [aPS/PT] IgM, IgG; and anti-domain I ß2GPI (aD1ß2GPI) IgG. FINDINGS: There was a high prevalence of antiphospholipid antibodies in the COVID-neurological (73.3%) and non-neurological COVID-hospitalised controls (76.6%) in contrast to the COVID-non-hospitalised controls (48.2%). aPS/PT IgG titres were significantly higher in the COVID-neurological group compared to both control groups (p < 0.001). Moderate-high titre of aPS/PT IgG was found in 2 out of 3 (67%) patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis [ADEM]. aPS/PT IgG titres negatively correlated with oxygen requirement (FiO2 R=-0.15 p = 0.040) and was associated with venous thromboembolism (p = 0.043). In contrast, aCL IgA (p < 0.001) and IgG (p < 0.001) was associated with non-neurological COVID-hospitalised controls compared to the other groups and correlated positively with d-dimer and creatinine but negatively with FiO2. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that aPS/PT IgG is associated with COVID-19-associated ADEM. In contrast, aCL IgA and IgG are seen much more frequently in non-neurological hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Characterisation of antiphospholipid antibody persistence and potential longitudinal clinical impact are required to guide appropriate management. FUNDING: This work is supported by UCL Queen Square Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Moorfields BRC grants (#560441 and #557595). LB is supported by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship (222102/Z/20/Z). RWP is supported by an Alzheimer's Association Clinician Scientist Fellowship (AACSF-20-685780) and the UK Dementia Research Institute. KB is supported by the Swedish Research Council (#2017-00915) and the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the County Councils, the ALF-agreement (#ALFGBG-715986). HZ is a Wallenberg Scholar supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (#2018-02532), the European Research Council (#681712), Swedish State Support for Clinical Research (#ALFGBG-720931), the Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), USA (#201809-2016862), and theUK Dementia Research Institute at UCL. BDM is supported by grants from the MRC/UKRI (MR/V007181/1), MRC (MR/T028750/1) and Wellcome (ISSF201902/3). MSZ, MH and RS are supported by the UCL/UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and MSZ is supported by Queen Square National Brain Appeal.

16.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103512, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We sought to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analysed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15). FINDINGS: One hundred patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 were followed for a median (IQR) of 225 (187-262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0·001), and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0·001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0·05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0·53, p < 0·001) and GFAp (r = 0·39, p < 0·001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly fatigue (n = 40), "brain-fog" (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no correlation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase. INTERPRETATION: The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicates that post COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury. FUNDING: The Swedish State Support for Clinical Research, SciLifeLab Sweden, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have provided funding for this project.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Astrocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Progression , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/metabolism , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Sweden
17.
FASEB J ; 35(8): e21745, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288103

ABSTRACT

Studies are needed to identify useful biomarkers to assess the severity and prognosis of COVID-19 disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Here, we examine the levels of various plasma species of the SARS-CoV-2 host receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), in patients at different phases of the infection. Human plasma ACE2 species were characterized by immunoprecipitation and western blotting employing antibodies against the ectodomain and the C-terminal domain, using a recombinant human ACE2 protein as control. In addition, changes in the cleaved and full-length ACE2 species were also examined in serum samples derived from humanized K18-hACE2 mice challenged with a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2. ACE2 immunoreactivity was present in human plasma as several molecular mass species that probably comprise truncated (70 and 75 kDa) and full-length forms (95, 100, 130, and 170 kDa). COVID-19 patients in the acute phase of infection (n = 46) had significantly decreased levels of ACE2 full-length species, while a truncated 70-kDa form was marginally higher compared with non-disease controls (n = 26). Levels of ACE2 full-length species were in the normal range in patients after a recovery period with an interval of 58-70 days (n = 29), while the 70-kDa species decreased. Levels of the truncated ACE2 species served to discriminate between individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 and those infected with influenza A virus (n = 17). In conclusion, specific plasma ACE2 species are altered in patients with COVID-19 and these changes normalize during the recovery phase. Alterations in ACE2 species following SARS-CoV-2 infection warrant further investigation regarding their potential usefulness as biomarkers for the disease process and to asses efficacy during vaccination.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/blood , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/cerebrospinal fluid , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/urine , Biomarkers/blood , Brain Chemistry , Colon/chemistry , Female , Humans , Liver/chemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Saliva/chemistry
18.
J Neurochem ; 159(1): 61-77, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282005

ABSTRACT

Neurological symptoms are frequently reported in patients suffering from COVID-19. Common CNS-related symptoms include anosmia, caused by viral interaction with either neurons or supporting cells in nasal olfactory tissues. Diffuse encephalopathy is the most common sign of CNS dysfunction, which likely results from the CNS consequences of the systemic inflammatory syndrome associated with severe COVID-19. Additionally, microvascular injuries and thromboembolic events likely contribute to the neurologic impact of acute COVID-19. These observations are supported by evidence of CNS immune activation in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in autopsy tissue, along with the detection of microvascular injuries in both pathological and neuroimaging studies. The frequent occurrence of thromboembolic events in patients with COVID-19 has generated different hypotheses, among which viral interaction with perivascular cells is particularly attractive, yet unproven. A distinguishing feature of CSF findings in SARS-CoV-2 infection is that clinical signs characteristic of neurotropic viral infections (CSF pleocytosis and blood-brain barrier injury) are mild or absent. Moreover, virus detection in CSF is rare and often of uncertain significance. In this review, we provide an overview of the neurological impact that occurs in the acute phase of COVID-19, and the role of CSF biomarkers in the clinical management and research to better treat and understand the disease. In addition to aiding as diagnostic and prognostic tools during acute infection, the use of comprehensive and well-characterized CSF and blood biomarkers will be vital in understanding the potential impact on the CNS in the rapidly increasing number of individuals recovering from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Biomarkers/cerebrospinal fluid , Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis
20.
Clin Neurophysiol ; 132(7): 1733-1740, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163547

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to characterize the electrophysiological features and plasma biomarkers of critical illness polyneuropathy (CIN) and myopathy (CIM) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW). METHODS: An observational ICU cohort study including adult patients admitted to the ICU at Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, from March 13th to June 8th 2020. We compared the clinical, electrophysiological and plasma biomarker data between COVID-19 patients who developed CIN/CIM and those who did not. Electrophysiological characteristics were also compared between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ICU patients. RESULTS: 111 COVID-19 patients were included, 11 of whom developed CIN/CIM. Patients with CIN/CIM had more severe illness; longer ICU stay, more thromboembolic events and were more frequently treated with invasive ventilation for longer than 2 weeks. In particular CIN was more frequent among COVID-19 patients with ICUAW (50%) compared with a non-COVID-19 cohort (0%, p = 0.008). Neurofilament light chain (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp) levels were higher in the CIN/CIM group compared with those that did not develop CIN/CIM (both p = 0.001) and correlated with nerve amplitudes. CONCLUSIONS: CIN/CIM was more prevalent among COVID-19 ICU patients with severe illness. SIGNIFICANCE: COVID-19 patients who later developed CIN/CIM had significantly higher NfL and GFAp in the early phase of ICU care, suggesting their potential as predictive biomarkers for CIN/CIM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Muscular Diseases/etiology , Polyneuropathies/etiology , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Muscle Weakness/etiology , Muscular Diseases/blood , Muscular Diseases/physiopathology , Polyneuropathies/blood , Polyneuropathies/physiopathology , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Thromboembolism/etiology
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