The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Development of Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 11;22(4):1804. doi: 10.3390/ijms22041804.


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains a global challenge. Currently, there is some information on the consequences of COVID-19 infection in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, as it is a newly discovered coronavirus, but its far-reaching effects on participation in neurodegenerative diseases seem to be significant. Recent cases reports showed that SARS-CoV-2 may be responsible for initiating the demyelination process in people who previously had no symptoms associated with any nervous system disorders. It is presently known that infection of SARS-CoV-2 evokes cytokine storm syndrome, which may be one of the factors leading to the acute cerebrovascular disease. One of the substantial problems is the coexistence of cerebrovascular disease and MS in an individual's life span. Epidemiological studies showed an enhanced risk of death rate from vascular disabilities in MS patients of approximately 30%. It has been demonstrated that patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection usually show increased levels of D-dimer, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), and overactivation of blood platelets, which are essential elements of prothrombotic events. In this review, the latest knowledge gathered during an ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the neurodegeneration processes in MS is discussed.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; cytokine storm; multiple sclerosis; neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / etiology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / pathology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / virology
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / virology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / etiology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / pathology