25 Percent of Coronavirus Patients Have This One Disturbing Symptom
This scary symptom is another reminder that COVID is more than just a respiratory infection.
As experts continue to learn more about COVID-19, they are identifying an increasing number of disturbing symptoms connected to the virus. Studies have shown the effect COVID-19 can have on patients' brains, including hallucinations, stroke, and clumsiness. And another recent study has identified delirium as a coronavirus symptom among those diagnosed, affecting up to 25 percent of COVID patients.
A July study published in Brain examined neurological problems in 43 coronavirus patients who were treated at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London between April 9 and May 15. Out of the 43 patients, 10 experienced delirium. According to the Mayo Clinic, delirium is defined as a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment.
While this symptom may seem strange, doctors don't find it all that perplexing. "Patients with other forms of coronavirus, such as SARS and MERS, have also experienced neurological problems," the authors of the study told Newsweek.
Doctors believe the effects on the brain are related to the viruses' influence on the nervous system or a result of inflammation rather than a direct symptom of the virus. Cris S. Constantinescu, MD, told Newsweek the study "confirms some suspicions of indirect damage due to the inflammatory response [the virus] triggers." He also pointed out the "striking discrepancy between serious changes on MRI scans and the spinal fluid not looking too bad. Again this suggests that the mechanism is not a direct destructive effect of the virus but the immune response it triggers."
Epidemiologists and neurologists continue to do studies to further prove that COVID-19 is associated with neurological and neuropsychiatric illness, and these findings provide ongoing proof that the virus affects more than just the respiratory system. Constantinescu urges people "to remain vigilant, as even mild respiratory infection with COVID-19 can affect the nervous system in many different ways." And for more information on coronavirus' impact on the brain, discover The Surprising Coronavirus Symptom You Haven't Heard About.