We are learning new things about COVID-19 every day. One of those things is the side effects, both neurological and physical. In fact, researchers from the UK have found that strokes are the most common side effect of the brain.
COVID-19 is part of a larger group of coronaviruses that can affect both people and animals. It is a viral infection that causes symptoms comparable to the flu. Beginning in Wuhan, China, it has managed to spread throughout the globe. The WHO has confirmed cases in over 140 countries, amounting to over ten million infected.
The symptoms of this virus include a fever, chills, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and breathing issues. The list of common symptoms is growing as medical professionals learn more about the virus. All cases can range from mild to severe, with the onset of symptoms usually seen between two to 14 days since infection. These effects are more severe for those with underlying health conditions or those with weakened immune systems, such as older adults.
There is still a lot that is not understood about this virus. Medical professionals are working to better comprehend it and create vaccines, but as of now it is best to wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance.
About the Study
A team of researchers from the UK analyzed the medical records of 153 coronavirus patients who were treated in the month of April. Physicians chose which patients to include in the study, so the more severe cases were selected.
Out of the 153 participants, 114 were diagnosed using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The remaining 39 patients were diagnosed by the identification of characteristic symptoms, CT scans, and chest x-rays.
77 out of 153 (50.3%) of patients had a stroke, the majority of which were due to a blood clot. Inflammation of the blood vessels and brain hemorrhages also contributed to the number of strokes. Other side effects included confusion, behavioral changes, encephalopathy, inflammation of the brain, and encephalitis.
Altered mental states were another side effect, including dementia-like syndrome, psychosis, and mood disorders. The research also found that older patients (above the age of 60) were more likely to experience strokes, while younger patients faced a higher likelihood of an altered mental state.
This study has greatly advanced the understanding of COVID-19 and its side effects, which will hopefully allow for medical professionals to create better treatments, better health policies, and better neurological research.