Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Chronic Neurological Disorders: Focus on Patients with Dementia

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2022 Jan 11. doi: 10.2174/1871527321666220111124928. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) represents a public health problem worldwide. COVID-19 triggers a maladaptive cytokine release commonly referred to as cytokine storm syndrome with increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which also appears to contribute to chronic neuro-inflammation and neurodegenerative disorders' appearance, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. In this context, SARS-CoV-2 might enter the central nervous system through binding with the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptors which are highly expressed in glial cells and neurons. For this reason, an association between COVID-19, its dependent cytokine storm, and the development and/or progression of neurodegenerative disorders might be evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this review was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on neurodegenerative disorders focusing on the possible increased mortality risk and/or deterioration of clinical course of pre-existing chronic neurological diseases in patients with dementia.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; COVID-19; Parkinson's disease; dementia; multiple sclerosis; neurological disorders.