Study shows Covid-19 'long-haulers' experience neurologic symptoms lasting six weeks

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Washington [US], March 23 (ANI): A study published by the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology on Tuesday reported that a majority of Covid-19 "long haulers" - Covid-19 patients with persistent symptoms - experience four or more neurologic symptoms lasting for at least six weeks or more.

CNN reported that the study from researchers at Northwestern Medicine evaluated just 100 non-hospitalized "long hauler" patients across 21 states (in the US) who had symptoms consistent with Covid-19 such as sore throat, cough, or mild fever and were being treated at the Northwestern Neuro-Covid-19 clinic.

The study pointed out that the most commonly reported neurologic symptom among the 100 patients was brain fog (81 per cent), followed by headache (68 per cent), numbness or tingling (60 per cent), loss or altered taste (59 per cent), loss of smell (55 per cent). Dizziness, pain, and blurred vision were also reported symptoms. Among study participants, 85 per cent reported having four or more neurologic symptoms.

According to the study cited by CNN, The most frequent non-neurologic symptoms reported by the group included fatigue (85 per cent), depression/anxiety (47 per cent); shortness of breath (46 per cent); chest pain (37 per cent); and insomnia (33per cent).

CNN further reported that there are a number of limitations of the study. First, only half of the 100 patients had any positive PCR or coronavirus antibody tests to confirm their infection.

The other half of the patients did not have any laboratory-confirmed results of coronavirus infection but had symptoms consistent with Covid. The researchers noted that the initial generations of antibody tests were developed based on a hospitalized patients and were not sensitive enough to detect antibodies in non-hospitalized long haulers.

It was also noted that the researchers were able to evaluate 48 of the patients in person, but the other 52 patients were evaluated via telehealth visits, which did not allow for complete neurologic exams.

The researchers also noted that 16 of the patients had a pre-existing autoimmune disorder including multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Hashimoto's disease, and 42 of the patients evaluated had reported having a history of depression or anxiety, CNN reported further. (ANI)