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1.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 93(12): 1343-1348, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038335

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To assess whether SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect the central nervous system, specifically neurons and glia cells, even without clinical neurological involvement. METHODS: In this single centre prospective study, serum levels of neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and glial fibrillar acidic protein (sGFAp) were assessed using SimoaTM assay Neurology 2-Plex B Assay Kit, in 148 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 without clinical neurological manifestations and compared them to 53 patients with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and 108 healthy controls (HCs). RESULTS: Age and sex-corrected sNfL levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 (median log10-sNfL 1.41; IQR 1.04-1.83) than patients with IPF (median log10-sNfL 1.18; IQR 0.98-1.38; p<0.001) and HCs (median log10-sNfL 0.89; IQR 0.72-1.14; p<0.001). Likewise, age and sex-corrected sGFAP levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 (median log10-sGFAP 2.26; IQR 2.02-2.53) in comparison with patients with IPF (median log10-sGFAP 2.15; IQR 1.94-2.30; p<0.001) and HCs (median log10-sGFAP 1.87; IQR 0.64-2.09; p<0.001). No significant difference was found between patients with HCs and IPF (p=0.388 for sNfL and p=0.251 for sGFAp). In patients with COVID-19, a prognostic model with mortality as dependent variable (26/148 patients died during hospitalisation) and sNfl, sGFAp and age as independent variables, showed an area under curve of 0.72 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.84; negative predictive value (NPV) (%):80,positive predictive value (PPV)(%): 84; p=0.0008). CONCLUSION: The results of our study suggest that neuronal and glial degeneration can occur in patients with COVID-19 regardless of overt clinical neurological manifestations. With age, levels of sNfl and GFAp can predict in-hospital COVID-19-associated mortality and might be useful to assess COVID-19 patient prognostic profile.


Subject(s)
Brain , COVID-19 , Neuroglia , Neurons , Humans , Biomarkers/blood , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , Neuroglia/pathology , Neuroglia/virology , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Male , Female , Prognosis
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
7.
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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