Neurological Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients

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The second wave of coronavirus has brought forward many fears. Unlike what was previously seen, even healthier people are getting infected and recording a concerning, quick degradation in their symptoms. There are also newer symptoms to be careful of- besides a cough or a fever, people are falling prey to unusual, far-more complex symptoms. Neurological complications have now become more common.





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Here's why this is concerning

According to studies, COVID causing SARS-COV-2 virus and its mutations can have the ability to affect brain and neurological function, both in the short and the long term. From what is believed, over 1/3rd of COVID+ patients experience neurological symptoms of COVID during their infection and leave some in the looming risk of developing long-term dangers, including stroke.

Who is most at risk?

What exactly links a respiratory infection to cause neurological complications is yet fully unknown, but it's still in our best interests to remain fully aware.

Previous studies have also indicated that neurological symptoms could also strike the ones suffering from mild COVID, who aren't sick enough to be hospitalized. Here are some of the most commonly recorded neurological symptoms and complications recorded by COVID patients in their pre-symptomatic and symptomatic days:

Loss of sense and taste

Impaired, distorted sense of smell and taste can not just be utterly debilitating but remains to be one of the most confusing associations with COVID. While earlier it was considered to be a simple upper respiratory tract symptom, newer researches have shown that these imbalances could also strike up when the virus reaches the brain. For example, a disturbance between the olfactory senses and the brain connection can cause distorted or phantom smells, making recovered patients sniff scents, mostly awful or unpleasant which may not be even there. Some go to describe these distorted scents as a way the brain tricks the body

Brain fog and confusion

Studies have indicated that COVID-19 can have a considerable impact on the brain and affect patients in the short as well as long run. One symptom to be extremely careful of is brain fog, or clouded thinking. Over 81% of COVID patients worldwide attest to suffering from some form of brain fog and facing problems with memory and cognition. Patients particularly suffering from severe forms of COVID could suffer from symptoms like these. High-level of inflammatory cytokines present in the cerebrospinal fluid could be a likely cause of the same.

Delirium

A clear change in how a patient feels, experiencing bouts of confusion, feeling sleepy or sluggish or a brush with delirium is a symptom of the infection worsening. Experts also say that another point of worry is if the patient finds it difficult to carry out simple tasks, or speak a sentence without slurring, immediate care is needed.

Irritability and agitation

As per a new clinical analysis, over 11% of patients with COVID-19 suffer from repetitive episodes of anxiety, irritability and agitation during their symptomatic days. Those already suffering from, or at the risk of neurological diseases can also have an enhanced risk of worsening symptoms, encountering episodes like psychosis and memory loss.

Fatigue, dizziness and headache

From what is being currently observed, excruciating fatigue, exhaustion are now common complaints among COVID patients. Headache and myalgia too are profoundly observed.


While these symptoms are primarily caused by the inflammation fueled by the virus, doctors also opine that these symptoms together could also signify neurological damage, or simply shows how the virus finds its way from the respiratory canals to the brain and important neurons supplying information to vital organs. Headaches, stiffness, numbing pain, tingling sensations could impair concentration and slow the body down.

Ear pain and tinnitus

Lack of balance and coordination are classic signs of neurological problems. Tinnitus, the newly talked about symptom, described as an unpleasant ringing noise in the ear is another addition to it which can happen when there is widespread inflammation that can weigh down heavily on the ear-brain coordination

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