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Neurologic Effects Seen in a Third of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Manifestations include acute cerebrovascular diseases, impaired consciousness, skeletal muscle injury

FRIDAY, April 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Neurologic manifestations are common among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online April 10 in JAMA Neurology.

Ling Mao, from Tongji Medical College at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed data from 214 consecutive hospitalized patients with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (SARS-CoV-2), treated from Jan. 16, 2020, to Feb. 19, 2020, at three designated special care centers.

The researchers note that 126 patients (58.9 percent) had nonsevere infection and 88 patients (41.1 percent) had severe infection, according to their respiratory status. Just over one-third of patients (36.4 percent) had neurologic manifestations overall versus 45.5 percent among patients with severe infection. Neurologic manifestations, such as acute cerebrovascular diseases (5.7 versus 0.8 percent), impaired consciousness (14.8 versus 2.4 percent), and skeletal muscle injury (19.3 versus 4.8 percent), were more common among patients with severe infection versus nonsevere infection.

"During the epidemic period of COVID-19, when seeing patients with these neurologic manifestations, clinicians should consider SARS-CoV-2 infection as a differential diagnosis to avoid delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis and prevention of transmission," the authors write.

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