Reports are starting to circulate throughout the world about the potential damaging effects the coronavirus has on the brain and nervous system. These possible links are preliminary and are just beginning to be tracked.
As reported by Dr Robert Stevens, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore
We know almost nothing about the potential interactions between COVID-19 and the nervous system.Dr Robert Stevens
According to this Medscape report on April 5th, Dr. Stevens reports “most COVID-19 patients we have seen have a normal neurological presentation. Abnormal neurological findings we have seen include loss of smell and taste sensation, and states of altered mental status including confusion, lethargy, and coma.”
Other articles reporting on the possible brain and coronavirus connection are listed here and include patients having strokes, seizures, encephalitis-like symptoms and blood clots:
New York Times –Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments
It will take time to understand what is known about COVID-19 and the brain, but it is worth following this as we track if more strokes and other neurological conditions eventually get linked back to the virus.
Stevens, who plans to track neurologic outcomes in COVID-19 patients, also cautioned in the Medscape article that it’s “still early and these case reports are preliminary”.
Footnote: The mental toll of this crisis was not mentioned in these articles referenced. The impact of this on behaviors well beyond the lifting of quarantines will be impossible to quantify as well.
For our stroke community we have identified free mindfulness resources to include in your stroke recovery in this post, Breathe.
We also certainly understand how survivors and families may be feeling Alone now more than ever.