Based on an interim analysis from the Global Consortium Study of Neurologic Dysfunction in COVID-19 (GCS-NeuroCOVID), patients with clinically diagnosed neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19 are six times more likely to die in the hospital than those without the neurological complications. The GCS-NeuroCOVID is the largest cohort study of neurological manifestations of COVID-19 to date, spanning 133 adult patient sites in all continents except Antarctica.
The researchers analyzed data from three different types of patient cohorts-; the “all COVID-19” cohort, which included all 3,055 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, irrespective of their neurological status; the “neurological” cohort, which included 475 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with clinically confirmed neurological symptoms compiled by the GCS-NeuroCOVID Consortium; and the “ENERGY” cohort, or 214 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who required evaluation by a consulting neurologist and provided consent to participate in the European Academy of Neurology Neuro-COVID Registry (ENERGY), a formal partner of the GCS-NeuroCOVID Consortium.
The study found that having a preexisting neurological condition of any kind-; from the brain, spinal cord, and nerve diseases to chronic migraines, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, among others-; is the strongest predictor of developing COVID-19-related neurological complications, increasing the risk by two-fold. In addition, having any neurological symptoms related to COVID-19-; from something as seemingly innocuous as the loss of smell to major events like strokes-; is associated with a six-fold higher risk of dying. But even if a patient beats the odds and recovers, their long-term health outlook is still uncertain.
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