Coronavirus Disease 2019: Latest Data on Neuroinvasive Potential

Iran J Med Sci. 2020 Sep;45(5):325-332. doi: 10.30476/ijms.2020.85980.1561.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic infection. Similar to other respiratory viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) may enter the brain via the hematogenous or neuronal route; however, only a few reports are available on the neurological complications of COVID-19. Encephalopathy is a significant neurological complication of COVID-19. We herein present an update on the virology, neurological pathogenesis, and neuroinvasive potential of coronaviruses and briefly discuss the latest findings on SARS-CoV-2 neuroinfection. The reports thus far indicate that the access of SARS-CoV into host cells is bolstered chiefly by a cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and that SARS-CoV-2 may induce some neurological manifestations via direct or indirect mechanisms. Further research is required to shed sufficient light on the impact on the central nervous system and altered mental status in patients with COVID-19. Indeed, a better understanding of the pathways of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion would further clarify the neurological pathogenesis and manifestations of coronaviruses and enhance the management and treatment of this group of patients. In the current epidemic era of COVID-19, health care staff should strongly become aware of SARS-CoV-2 infection as an essential diagnosis to get away misdiagnosis and prevention of transmission.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Infections; Neurological manifestations.

Publication types

  • Review