Researchers in China reported the first presumptive case of Guillain-Barre syndrome, GBS, associated with coronavirus. A 61-year-old woman initially presented with signs of a central nervous system disease, after returning from Wuhan, China. She did not initially present with the common coronavirus symptoms of fever, cough, or chest pain.
Brain scans showed the woman presented unusual swelling.
Physicians in Wuhan then diagnosed it as acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy.
This is a rare central nervous system complication secondary to influenza or other viral infections which is characterized by altered mental status and seizures.
It often leads to profound disability or death.
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Other tests were done on the woman to eliminate some other viruses that might cause the diagnosed condition.
Senior author of the study from Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China said: “It may or may not have causal relationship.
“Our single-case report only suggests a possible association between Guillain-Barre syndrome and Covid-19 infection.
“More cases with epidemiological data are necessary.
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“However, we still suggest physicians who encounter acute GBS patients from pandemic areas protect themselves carefully and test for the virus on admission.
“If the results are positive, the patient needs to be isolated.”
Doctor Chen added: “Neurologic presentations of COVID-19 are not common, but could happen.”
The research of the pathogen’s effect on the brain was also confirmed by the Henry Ford Health System study of an unusual case of brain inflammation linked to coronavirus.
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A 58-year-old woman who tested positive for COVID-19 developed a case of acute necrotising encephalitis (ANE), a central nervous infection.
Docter Elissa Fory, who was part of the research team of the Henry Ford Health System study, said: “This is significant for all providers to be aware of and looking out for in patients who present with an altered level of consciousness.
“We need to be thinking of how we’re going to incorporate patients with severe neurological disease into our treatment paradigm.
“This complication is as devastating as severe lung disease.”
The physicians, from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit said: “This is the first reported case of coronavirus-associated acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy.
“As the number of patients with Covid-19 increases worldwide, clinicians and radiologists should be watching for this presentation among patients presenting with Covid-19 and altered mental status.”
In another US case, a 74-year-old man with preexisting neurological conditions had suddenly lost his ability to speak.
He was ultimately diagnosed with coronavirus.
His physicians said: “Since Covid-19 affects the elderly more and those with preexisting conditions, patients with prior neurological conditions and acute respiratory symptoms are at an increased risk of encephalopathy on initial presentation,”
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