Rare neurological condition linked to COVID-19 cases in 21 countries

Press release:

As researchers continue to study the neurological impacts of COVID-19, a Houston Methodist international collaboration has documented an unexpectedly frequent occurrence of acute transverse myelitis (ATM) – inflammation of the spinal cord – in 43 COVID-19 patients. Led by Houston Methodist neurologist Dr. Gustavo Roman, the study of existing scientific literature found that patients from 21 countries developed spinal cord lesions after contracting the virus. Symptoms included paralysis and sphincter/bowel dysfunction. The patients ages ranged from 21 to 73 and included about half-and-half women and men. ATM, a rare neurological condition, affects between 1.34 and 4.6 cases per million per year, and researchers believe the unusually high rate in post-COVID-19 patients merits additional investigation. Moreover, 3 ATM cases were reported during the trials of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The study is published in Frontiers in Immunology. Dr. Roman collaborated with researchers from Hospital Paitilla, Interamerican University of Panama and Hospital Santo Tomas (Drs. Fernando Gracia, Antonio Torres, Alexis Palacios, Karla Gracia and Diogenes Harris).

Evolution of outcomes for patients hospitalized during the COVID pandemic

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As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread in France, a thorough characterization of hospital care needs and of the trajectories of hospital patients, as well as how they have changed over time, is essential to support planning. This led scientists from the Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases Unit at the Institut Pasteur and the University of Cambridge to develop a probabilistic model that can be used to analyze detailed patient trajectories based on 198,846 hospitalizations in France during the first nine months of the pandemic (from March to No-vember 2020). These findings were published in The Lancet Regional Health Europe on March 20, 2021.

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Large study finds higher burden of acute brain dysfunction for COVID-19 ICU patients

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COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care in the early months of the pandemic were subject to a significantly higher burden of delirium and coma than is typically found in patients with acute respiratory failure. Choice of sedative medications and curbs on family visitation played a role in increasing acute brain dysfunction for these patients.

That’s according to an international study published Jan. 8 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, led by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in coordination with researchers in Spain.

The study, which is far the largest of its kind to date, tracks the incidence of delirium and coma in 2,088 COVID-19 patients admitted before April 28, 2020, to 69 adult intensive care units across 14 countries.

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Study reports patient-reported loss of smell in 86% of mild COVID-19 cases

News Release:

A reduced sense of smell, or olfactory dysfunction, is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. A recent study published the Journal of Internal Medicine has examined it prevalence and recovery in patients with varying degrees of severity of COVID-19.

In the study of 2,581 patients from 18 European hospitals, the patient-reported prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was 85.9% in mild cases of COVID-19, 4.5% in moderate cases, and 6.9% in severe-to-critical cases. The average duration of olfactory dysfunction reported by patients was 21.6 days, but nearly one-quarter of affected patients reported that they did not recover their sense of smell 60 days after losing it.

Objective clinical evaluations identified olfactory dysfunction in 54.7% of mild cases of COVID-19 and 36.6% of moderate-to-critical cases of COVID-19. At 60 days and 6 months, 15.3% and 4.7% of these patients did not objectively recover their sense of smell, respectively.

“Olfactory dysfunction is more prevalent in mild COVID-19 forms than in moderate-to-critical forms, and 95% of patients recover their sense of smell at 6-months post-infection,” said lead author Jerome R. Lechien, MD, PhD, MS, of Paris Saclay University.

Neurologic complications common even in moderate COVID-19 cases

MINNEAPOLIS – COVID-19 can lead to a broad range of neurologic complications including stroke, seizures, movement disorders, inflammatory diseases and more, even in moderate cases, according to a new study published in the December 9, 2020, online issue of Neurology® Clinical Practice, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“We looked at people with neurologic symptoms and COVID at a racially and socioeconomically diverse hospital and found a wide range of neurologic complications–spanning inflammatory complications, stroke and other vascular conditions, metabolic problems, exacerbation of underlying neurologic conditions and more,” said study author Pria Anand, M.D. of Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Yet the majority of these people did not require critical care, suggesting that neurologic complications may be common in people with moderate COVID-19 as well as those with severe disease.”

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New analysis reveals ‘long-hauler’ COVID-19 patients with prolonged skin symptoms

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LUGANO, 29 October, 2020 – Some COVID-19 patients experience long-lasting skin symptoms that vary according to type of COVID-19 skin rash, a late-breaking abstract will reveal today at the 29th EADV Congress, EADV Virtual.

Analysis of the largest registry of COVID-19 patients with dermatological symptoms has revealed a subset of patients, called ‘long-haulers’ or ‘long COVID’, who experience prolonged symptoms (lasting >60 days) on their skin (1).

Data from 990 cases from 39 countries input into the registry, a collaboration between the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology, show an average duration of 12 days for all dermatological symptoms, with some lasting as long as >150 days (1).

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Some COVID-19 “long haulers” experience lasting skin problems

Press release:

BOSTON – Some patients with COVID-19 have persistent skin-related symptoms long after their initial infection has cleared, according to a new analysis. The findings, presented at the 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), point to another burden experienced by so-called “long haulers” who get better but don’t seem to fully recover from COVID-19.

For the analysis, researchers established an international registry for COVID-19 skin manifestations in April 2020, in collaboration with the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology. Clinicians were contacted in June and August to update COVID-19 laboratory test results and the duration of patients’ COVID-19 skin symptoms. The team defined long haulers as anyone with skin symptoms of COVID-19 that persisted for at least 60 days.

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