: Despite an early warning by Thailand Medical News in an article published 5th
Of March 2020 that the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease could cause harm to the nervous system and also the brain, https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news-coronavirus-can-also-attack-the-nervous-system,-causing-neurological-conditions-and-even-viral-encephalitis
,many ignorant medical experts and even readers merely dismissed the report.
However of late, more patients are actually manifesting such occurrences. One unique case involved a woman who worked in the airline industry and was in her late 50s. She arrived at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit with a cough, fever and mental confusion that had arisen over the prior three days.
A subsequent nasal swab test showed she was infected with the new Covid-19 disease. And as doctors tried to track down the cause of her "altered mental status," brain scans revealed an encephalopathyie swelling in some areas of the brain as well as small areas of brain cell death.
According to a team led by Henry Ford radiologist Dr. Brent Griffith,it's a condition that's relatively rare in adults and potentially deadly but strangely more cases in the US are now showing such occurences.
He added, "While Covid-19 patients typically present with fever, shortness of breath and cough, neurologic manifestations have been reported, although to a much lesser extent.
The case study was reported in the latest issue of Radiology Journal, https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2020201187
The medical experts diagnosis: "Covid-19-associated acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, a rare encephalopathy that has been associated with other viral infections."
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The medical researchers believe that the brain can be damaged by viral infection whenever a patient's immune system overreacts to the virus. This immune system hyperactivity triggers a "cytokine storm" or an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds, known as cytokines.
Such was in the case of the Detroit woman, it's thought that an "intracranial" cytokine storm occurred. That led to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier that would normally shield the brain.
Henry Ford neurologist Dr Elissa Fory said the quick progression of the woman's illness "may indicate the virus can invade the brain directly in rare circumstances." She added that the woman remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Another medical expert, Dr Anthon
y Geraci who directs neuromuscular medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, commented after reviewing the woman's case, he said the cytosine storm theory appears to be correct.
Dr Gerarci added, "Cytokines are chemicals that, among other functions, can cause small blood vessels to leak, and this can lead to small hemorrhages in many organs including the brain this is well-known to occur as a consequence of several viral infections, including influenza.”
However, "there is no specific treatment currently," he added, "and most experts agree that drugs to suppress the immune response could cause more harm than good, so supportive care for these patients is currently the only known treatment."
This woman's case isn't unique a sizable minority of Covid-19 patients are presenting at hospitals with confusion, seizures and other signs of brain impairment, medical researchers are reporting.
Another example, in early March a 74-year-old man in Boca Raton was brought to a hospital emergency room by family members. He was unable to speak and his arms and legs were flailing about in what appeared to be a seizure. The man, who also had Parkinson's disease and chronic lung disease, later tested positive for Covid-19.
A medical report on the case was published online March 21 by neurologist Dr. Asia Filatov of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. https://www.cureus.com/articles/29414-neurological-complications-of-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-encephalopathy
Numerous other cases of Covid-19 patients displaying neurologic symptoms such as seizures, confusion and signs of encephalitis have been reported in Italy and elsewhere.
Such are the numbesr in Italy that Dr Alessandro Padovani, from the University of Brescia in Italy, has opened a special NeuroCovid unit to care for these types of patients.
A neurology researcher, Dr Sherry H-Y. Chou from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is leading a research team that's looking into the neurological effects of Covid-19.
She commented, "We absolutely need to have an information-finding mission, otherwise we're flying blind. There's no ventilator for the brain. If the lungs are broken, we can put the patient on a ventilator and hope for recovery. We don't have that luxury with the brain."
It was observed that neurological symptoms appear to be more common as Covid-19 becomes more severe, experts noted. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists "new confusion or inability to rouse" as a warning sign that any ill person should seek immediate medical care.
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