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2022 Mar 11

Curr Opin Neurol

Mechanisms of coronavirus infectious disease 2019-related neurologic diseases.


As of January 8, 2022, a global pandemic caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2, a new RNA virus, has resulted in 304,896,785 cases in over 222 countries and regions, with over 5,500,683 deaths (www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). Reports of neurological and psychiatric symptoms in the context of coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) range from headache, anosmia, and dysgeusia, to depression, fatigue, psychosis, seizures, delirium, suicide, meningitis, encephalitis, inflammatory demyelination, infarction, and acute hemorrhagic necrotizing encephalopathy. Moreover, 30-50% of COVID-19 survivors develop long-lasting neurologic symptoms, including a dysexecutive syndrome, with inattention and disorientation, and/or poor movement coordination. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA within the central nervous system (CNS) of patients is rare, and mechanisms of neurological damage and ongoing neurologic diseases in COVID-19 patients are unknown. However, studies demonstrating viral glycoprotein effects on coagulation and cerebral vasculature, and hypoxia- and cytokine-mediated coagulopathy and CNS immunopathology suggest both virus-specific and neuroimmune responses may be involved. This review explores potential mechanistic insights that could contribute to COVID-19-related neurologic disease.