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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 21


Therapeutic Approaches to the Neurologic Manifestations of COVID-19.


Graham EL, Koralnik IJ, Liotta EM
Neurotherapeutics. 2022 Jul 21.
PMID: 35861926.


As of May 2022, there have been more than 527 million infections with severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and over 6.2 million deaths from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide. COVID-19 is a multisystem illness with important neurologic consequences that impact long-term morbidity and mortality. In the acutely ill, the neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 can include distressing but relatively benign symptoms such as headache, myalgias, and anosmia; however, entities such as encephalopathy, stroke, seizures, encephalitis, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome can cause neurologic injury and resulting disability that persists long after the acute pulmonary illness. Furthermore, as many as one-third of patients may experience persistent neurologic symptoms as part of a Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (Neuro-PASC) syndrome. This Neuro-PASC syndrome can affect patients who required hospitalization for COVID-19 or patients who did not require hospitalization and who may have had minor or no pulmonary symptoms. Given the large number of individuals affected and the ability of neurologic complications to impair quality of life and productivity, the neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 are likely to have major and long-lasting personal, public health, and economic consequences. While knowledge of disease mechanisms and therapies acquired prior to the pandemic can inform us on how to manage patients with the neurologic manifestations of COVID-19, there is a critical need for improved understanding of specific COVID-19 disease mechanisms and development of therapies that target the neurologic morbidities of COVID-19. This current perspective reviews evidence for proposed disease mechanisms as they inform the neurologic management of COVID-19 in adult patients while also identifying areas in need of further research.