SARS-CoV-2 can induce brain and spine demyelinating lesions

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2020 Jul;162(7):1491-1494. doi: 10.1007/s00701-020-04374-x. Epub 2020 May 4.


SARS-CoV-2 can attack the central nervous system in the early stages of infection. Headache, anosmia, and dysgeusia are common symptoms. Disturbance of consciousness and seizures can occur as complications in case of severe COVID-19. We described the case of a COVID-19 patient admitted for interstitial pneumonia and seizures. MRI showed newly diagnosed demyelinating lesions. High-dose steroid treatment allowed neurological and respiratory recovery. We speculated a delayed immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2. The virus may lead to a SIRS-like immune disorder or play a role of infective trigger. Prompt invasive treatment should be adopted to avoid hypoxic neurotoxicity and prevent CNS injuries.

Keywords: COVID-19; Demyelinating lesions; Immune response; Neuro-COVID; SARS-CoV-2; Seizures.