SARS-CoV-2 Infection Leads to Neurological Dysfunction

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2020 Jun;15(2):167-173. doi: 10.1007/s11481-020-09924-9. Epub 2020 May 23.


A number of neurological disease complications have been seen following infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). While most person with COVID-19 respiratory disease demonstrate headache, nausea and vomiting, up to 40% present also experience dizziness, confusion, cerebrovascular disease, muscle pain, ataxia and seizures. Loss of taste and smell, defects in visual acuity and pain occur in parallel. Such central nervous system (CNS) signs and symptoms linked to laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection is often life threatening. Health care providers currently evaluating patients with neurologic symptoms need consider COVID-19 in any differential diagnosis. These considerations will facilitate prompt testing, isolation and prevention of viral transmission speeding best clinical outcomes. Graphical Abstract.

Keywords: Animal models; CNS; COVID-19; Guillain-Barré syndrome; Neurologic manifestations; SARS-CoV-2; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / virology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology
  • SARS-CoV-2