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1.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(1): 100490, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665525

ABSTRACT

Neurofilament light (NFL) is a promising circulating biomarker in preeclampsia and COVID-19, even without evident neurological complications. Several pathways might contribute to the elevated serum NFL levels seen in both pathologies. Future studies will determine whether NFL is a long COVID marker and delineate NFL's role in COVID-19-associated preeclampsia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , Pre-Eclampsia/blood , Pre-Eclampsia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Incidence , Pregnancy
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(602)2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270875

ABSTRACT

Brain imaging studies of patients with COVID-19 show evidence of macro- and microhemorrhagic lesions, multifocal white matter hyperintensities, and lesions consistent with posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy. Imaging studies, however, are subject to selection bias, and prospective studies are challenging to scale. Here, we evaluated whether serum neurofilament light chain (NFL), a neuroaxonal injury marker, could predict the extent of neuronal damage in a cohort of 142 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. NFL was elevated in the serum of patients with COVID-19 compared to healthy controls, including those without overt neurological manifestations. Higher NFL serum concentrations were associated with worse clinical outcomes. In 100 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 treated with remdesivir, a trend toward lower NFL serum concentrations was observed. These data suggest that patients with COVID-19 may experience neuroaxonal injury and may be at risk for long-term neurological sequelae. Neuroaxonal injury should be considered as an outcome in acute pharmacotherapeutic trials for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 14 , Biomarkers , Humans , Intermediate Filaments , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Neurofilament Proteins , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Neurol ; 268(12): 4436-4442, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 range from asymptomatic, to mild, moderate or severe disease evolution including fatal outcome. Thus, early predictors of clinical outcome are highly needed. We investigated markers of neural tissue damage as a possible early sign of multisystem involvement to assess their clinical prognostic value on survival or transfer to intensive care unit (ICU). METHODS: We collected blood from 104 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 the day of admission to the emergency room and measured blood neurofilament light chair (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), and total tau protein levels. RESULTS: We found that NfL, GFAP, and tau were significantly increased in patients with fatal outcome, while NfL and UCH-L1 in those needing ICU transfer. ROC and Kaplan-Meier curves indicated that total tau levels at admission accurately predict mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Blood neural markers may provide additional prognostic value to conventional biomarkers used to predict COVID-19 outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intermediate Filaments , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , tau Proteins/blood , Biomarkers , COVID-19/mortality , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Humans , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/blood
8.
J Neurol ; 268(11): 3969-3974, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1210701

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) is an established biomarker of neuro-axonal damage in multiple neurological disorders. Raised sNfL levels have been reported in adults infected with pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Levels in children infected with COVID-19 have not as yet been reported. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether sNfL is elevated in children contracting COVID-19. METHODS: Between May 22 and July 22, 2020, a network of outpatient pediatricians in Bavaria, Germany, the Coronavirus antibody screening in children from Bavaria study network (CoKiBa), recruited healthy children into a cross-sectional study from two sources: an ongoing prevention program for 1-14 years, and referrals of 1-17 years consulting a pediatrician for possible infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We determined sNfL levels by single molecule array immunoassay and SARS-CoV-2 antibody status by two independent quantitative methods. RESULTS: Of the 2652 included children, 148 (5.6%) were SARS-CoV-2 antibody positive with asymptomatic to moderate COVID-19 infection. Neurological symptoms-headache, dizziness, muscle aches, or loss of smell and taste-were present in 47/148 cases (31.8%). Mean sNfL levels were 5.5 pg/ml (SD 2.9) in the total cohort, 5.1 (SD 2.1) pg/ml in the children with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and 5.5 (SD 3.0) pg/ml in those without. Multivariate regression analysis revealed age-but neither antibody status, antibody levels, nor clinical severity-as an independent predictor of sNfL. Follow-up of children with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (n = 14) showed no association with sNfL. CONCLUSIONS: In this population study, children with asymptomatic to moderate COVID-19 showed no neurochemical evidence of neuronal damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intermediate Filaments , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Neurofilament Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
9.
J Neurol ; 268(10): 3574-3583, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141418

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypotheses that blood biomarkers for nervous system injury, serum concentrations of neurofilament light chain protein (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp) can serve as biomarkers for disease severity in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Forty-seven inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 had blood samples drawn on admission for assessing serum biomarkers of CNS injury by Single molecule array (Simoa), NfL and GFAp. Concentrations of NfL and GFAp were analyzed in relation to symptoms, clinical signs, inflammatory biomarkers and clinical outcomes. We used multivariate linear models to test for differences in biomarker concentrations in the subgroups, accounting for confounding effects. RESULTS: In total, 21% (n = 10) of the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit, and the overall mortality rate was 13% (n = 6). Non-survivors had higher serum concentrations of NfL (p < 0.001) upon admission than patients who were discharged alive both in adjusted analyses (p = 2.6 × 10-7) and unadjusted analyses (p = 0.001). The concentrations of NfL in non-survivors increased over repeated measurements; whereas, the concentrations in survivors were stable. The GFAp concentration was also significantly higher in non-survivors than survivors (p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Increased concentrations of NfL and GFAp in COVID-19 patients on admission may indicate increased mortality risk. Measurement of blood biomarkers for nervous system injury can be useful to detect and monitor CNS injury in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , Intermediate Filaments , Neurofilament Proteins , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Cells ; 10(2)2021 02 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085116

ABSTRACT

As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues, reports have demonstrated neurologic sequelae following COVID-19 recovery. Mechanisms to explain long-term neurological sequelae are unknown and need to be identified. Plasma from 24 individuals recovering from COVID-19 at 1 to 3 months after initial infection were collected for cytokine and antibody levels and neuronal-enriched extracellular vesicle (nEV) protein cargo analyses. Plasma cytokine IL-4 was increased in all COVID-19 participants. Volunteers with self-reported neurological problems (nCoV, n = 8) had a positive correlation of IL6 with age or severity of the sequalae, at least one co-morbidity and increased SARS-CoV-2 antibody compared to those COVID-19 individuals without neurological issues (CoV, n = 16). Protein markers of neuronal dysfunction including amyloid beta, neurofilament light, neurogranin, total tau, and p-T181-tau were all significantly increased in the nEVs of all participants recovering from COVID-19 compared to historic controls. This study suggests ongoing peripheral and neuroinflammation after COVID-19 infection that may influence neurological sequelae by altering nEV proteins. Individuals recovering from COVID-19 may have occult neural damage while those with demonstrative neurological symptoms additionally had more severe infection. Longitudinal studies to monitor plasma biomarkers and nEV cargo are warranted to assess persistent neurodegeneration and systemic effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Extracellular Vesicles/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Adult , Aged , Amyloid beta-Peptides/analysis , Biomarkers/analysis , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interleukin-4/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/blood , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Neurofilament Proteins/analysis , Neurogranin/analysis , Neurons/pathology , tau Proteins/analysis
11.
Ann Neurol ; 89(3): 610-616, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044305

ABSTRACT

There is emerging evidence for multifarious neurological manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but little is known regarding whether they reflect structural damage to the nervous system. Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) is a specific biomarker of neuronal injury. We measured sNfL concentrations of 29 critically ill COVID-19 patients, 10 critically ill non-COVID-19 patients, and 259 healthy controls. After adjusting for neurological comorbidities and age, sNfL concentrations were higher in patients with COVID-19 versus both comparator groups. Higher sNfL levels were associated with unfavorable short-term outcome, indicating that neuronal injury is common and pronounced in critically ill patients. ANN NEUROL 2021;89:610-616.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Case-Control Studies , Critical Illness , Female , Glasgow Outcome Scale , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hyponatremia/blood , Hyponatremia/therapy , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Pulmonary Edema/blood , Pulmonary Edema/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Insufficiency/blood , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/blood , Respiratory Tract Infections/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Shock, Cardiogenic/blood , Shock, Cardiogenic/therapy
12.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3324-3331, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035403

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological symptoms have been frequently reported in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and biomarkers of central nervous system (CNS) injury are reported to be increased in plasma but not extensively studied in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This study examined CSF for biomarkers of CNS injury and other pathology in relation to neurological symptoms and disease severity in patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19. METHODS: Nineteen patients with neurological symptoms and mild to critical COVID-19 were prospectively included. Extensive analysis of CSF, including measurement of biomarkers of CNS injury (neurofilament light chain [NfL] protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAp], and total tau), was performed and compared to neurological features and disease severity. RESULTS: Neurological symptoms included altered mental status (42%), headache (42%), and central (21%) and peripheral weakness (32%). Two patients demonstrated minor pleocytosis, and four patients had increased immunoglobulin G levels in CSF. Neuronal autoantibody testing using commercial tests was negative in all patients. Increased CSF levels of NfL protein, total tau, and GFAp were seen in 63%, 37%, and 16% of patients, respectively. Increased NfL protein correlated with disease severity, time in intensive care, and level of consciousness. NfL protein in CSF was higher in patients with central neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although limited by the small sample size, our data suggest that levels of NfL protein, GFAp, and total tau in CSF are commonly elevated in patients with COVID-19 with neurological symptoms. This is in contrast to the standard CSF workup where pathological findings are scarce. NfL protein, in particular, is associated with central neurological symptoms and disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurofilament Proteins , Biomarkers , Central Nervous System , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Neurology ; 95(10): 445-449, 2020 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999777

ABSTRACT

Here, we report a case of COVID-19-related acute necrotizing encephalopathy where SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in CSF 19 days after symptom onset after testing negative twice. Although monocytes and protein levels in CSF were only marginally increased, and our patient never experienced a hyperinflammatory state, her neurologic function deteriorated into coma. MRI of the brain showed pathologic signal symmetrically in central thalami, subinsular regions, medial temporal lobes, and brain stem. Extremely high concentrations of the neuronal injury markers neurofilament light and tau, as well as an astrocytic activation marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, were measured in CSF. Neuronal rescue proteins and other pathways were elevated in the in-depth proteomics analysis. The patient received IV immunoglobulins and plasma exchange. Her neurologic status improved, and she was extubated 4 weeks after symptom onset. This case report highlights the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 in selected patients and emphasizes the importance of repeated lumbar punctures and CSF analyses in patients with suspected COVID-19 and neurologic symptoms.


Subject(s)
Brain/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/cerebrospinal fluid , Pneumonia, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , RNA, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Acyclovir/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/cerebrospinal fluid , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interleukin-6/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/diagnostic imaging , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Pandemics , Plasma Exchange , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Viral Tropism , tau Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid
14.
Eur J Neurol ; 27(11): 2378-2380, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-707056

ABSTRACT

Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS) is classified as a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), accounting for 5%-25% of all GBS cases. Since the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, increasing evidence has been reported of the neurological manifestations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous system. Here we report the clinical course, detailed cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile including CSF/blood antibody status, and neurochemical characteristics of a patient with a typical clinical presentation of MFS after a positive SARS-CoV-2 infection test.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Miller Fisher Syndrome/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Biomarkers/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis , Neurofilament Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Treatment Outcome
16.
Neurology ; 95(12): e1754-e1759, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601304

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has an impact on the CNS by measuring plasma biomarkers of CNS injury. METHODS: We recruited 47 patients with mild (n = 20), moderate (n = 9), or severe (n = 18) COVID-19 and measured 2 plasma biomarkers of CNS injury by single molecule array, neurofilament light chain protein (NfL; a marker of intra-axonal neuronal injury) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp; a marker of astrocytic activation/injury), in samples collected at presentation and again in a subset after a mean of 11.4 days. Cross-sectional results were compared with results from 33 age-matched controls derived from an independent cohort. RESULTS: The patients with severe COVID-19 had higher plasma concentrations of GFAp (p = 0.001) and NfL (p < 0.001) than controls, while GFAp was also increased in patients with moderate disease (p = 0.03). In patients with severe disease, an early peak in plasma GFAp decreased on follow-up (p < 0.01), while NfL showed a sustained increase from first to last follow-up (p < 0.01), perhaps reflecting a sequence of early astrocytic response and more delayed axonal injury. CONCLUSION: We show neurochemical evidence of neuronal injury and glial activation in patients with moderate and severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to clarify the frequency and nature of COVID-19-related CNS damage and its relation to both clinically defined CNS events such as hypoxic and ischemic events and mechanisms more closely linked to systemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and consequent immune activation, as well as to evaluate the clinical utility of monitoring plasma NfL and GFAp in the management of this group of patients.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , Neurons/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Single Molecule Imaging
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