Coronavirus: neurological symptoms?

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 27 April 2020 at 16h22 · Updated on 28 April 2020 at 11h28
Can coronavirus affect the brain? According to some doctors, several of their patients – tested positive for Covid-19 – have said they feel symptoms such as loss of bearings and signs of confusion. But scientists remain cautious, assessing possible effects on the nervous system.

After cough, fever, breathing difficulties, loss of the senses of smell and taste and even frostbites and red patches, are there more coronavirus symptoms not yet highlighted?

Several doctors addressed the matter. Some of their patients – infected by Covid-19 – have said they were suffering of confusion and loss of bearings, not knowing where they were or what year it was. So, can Covid-19 also affect the brain?

According to a study released in the New England Journal of Medicine, several French doctors based in Strasbourg said that half of the 58 patients in ICU were distressed. Doctors have then decided to scan their brains and they saw encephalitis and possible brain inflammation.

Yet, scientists want to remain cautious and try to explain these symptoms by other means. According to some of them, the nose could be the way to the brain since the loss of smell is common in many Covid-19 patients. But it remains a pure hypothesis as the patient losing their sense of smell are not always showing neurological symptoms.

Everyone says it’s a breathing problem, but it also affects something that is very precious to us, the brainS. Andrew Josephson, head of the neurology department at the University of California, San Francisco said. “If you feel confused, if you have problems thinking, there are good reasons to consult a doctor” he says. “The older idea that you should go to the doctor only if you have difficulty breathing is no longer valid” he concluded.

To determine the exact causes of these neurological symptoms, further studies are required. A not validated yet test has been performed on a 24-year-old Japanese. Showing those signs of confusion, doctors wanted to detect the virus in cerebrospinal fluid. Imaging revealed several inflammations in his brain.


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