Neurological manifestations and complications of COVID-19: A literature review

J Clin Neurosci. 2020 Jul;77:8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2020.05.017. Epub 2020 May 6.

Abstract

The Coronavirus disease due to SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan city, China in December 2019 and rapidly spread to more than 200 countries as a global health pandemic. There are more than 3.5 million confirmed cases and around 165,000 to 243,000 fatalities. The primary manifestation is respiratory and cardiac but neurological features are also being reported in the literature as case reports and case series. The most common reported symptoms to include headache and dizziness followed by encephalopathy and delirium. Among the complications noted are Cerebrovascular accident, Guillian barre syndrome, acute transverse myelitis, and acute encephalitis. The most common peripheral manifestation was hyposmia. It is further noted that sometimes the neurological manifestations can precede the typical features like fever and cough and later on typical manifestations develop in these patients. Hence a high index of suspicion is required for timely diagnosis and isolation of cases to prevent the spread in neurology wards. We present a narrative review of the neurological manifestations and complications of COVID-19. Our aim is to update the neurologists and physicians working with suspected cases of COVID-19 about the possible neurological presentations and the probable neurological complications resulting from this novel virus infection.

Keywords: Clinical features; Coronavirus; Delirium; Encephalitis; Headache; Neurology; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / psychology
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2