Increasing research reports neurological manifestations of COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 shares homology with other human coronaviruses that have also had nervous system involvement.
To review the neurological aspects of SARS-cov2 and other coronavirus, including transmission pathways, mechanisms of invasion into the nervous system, and mechanisms of neurological disease.
We conducted a systematic review of articles in PubMed, SCOPUS and EMBASE data bases. Reviewed evidence is presented in sections of this manuscript which includes pathogenesis, neuro-invasion, encephalitis, Guillain-Barré, ADEM, multiple sclerosis, polyneuropathy, and cerebrovascular disease.
A total 67 studies were included in the final analysis of experimental studies, case reports, series of cases, cohort studies, and systematic reviews related to neurological manifestations of SARS- CoV-2 and other human coronavirus infections. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor is expressed in the nervous system. Common reported symptoms included hyposmia, headaches, weakness, altered consciousness. Encephalitis, demyelination, neuropathy, and stroke have been associated with COVID-19. Infection through the cribriform plate and olfactory bulb and dissemination through trans-synaptic transfer are some of the mechanisms proposed. Invasion of the medullary cardiorespiratory center by SARS-CoV-2 may contribute to the refractory respiratory failure observed in critically-ill COVID-19 patients.
An increasing number of reports of COVID-19 patients with neurological disorders add to emergent experimental models with neuro-invasion as a reasonable concern that SARS-CoV-2 is a new neuropathogen. How it may cause acute and chronic neurologic disorders needs to be clarified in future research.
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