Neuro-COVID-19 is more than anosmia: clinical presentation, neurodiagnostics, therapies, and prognosis

Finja Schweitzer, Nina N Kleineberg, Yasemin Göreci, Oezguer A Onur, Christiana Franke, Clemens Warnke
Current Opinion in Neurology 2021 June 1, 34 (3): 423-431

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an overview on current knowledge of neurological symptoms and complications of COVID-19, and to suggest management concepts.

RECENT FINDINGS: Headache, dizziness, excessive tiredness, myalgia, anosmia/hyposmia, and ageusia/dysgeusia are common nonspecific neurological manifestations during early COVID-19 disease found in the majority of patients. Less frequent but more severe and specific neurological manifestations include Guillain--Barré syndrome, encephalopathy, encephalitis/meningitis, epileptic seizures, and cerebrovascular events. Beyond standard neurological examination, these require a more extensive work-up, including cerebrospinal fluid assessment, neurophysiological evaluation, neuroimaging, and cognitive testing. Symptomatic treatment is advisable unless the neurological complication's immune pathogenesis is proven.

SUMMARY: Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 occur during the acute, para-infectious, and 'recovery' phase. Therapeutic management depends on the clinical presentation and neurological work-up.

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