According to a recent article in MedicalXpress, researchers at Houston Methodist have reported acute transverse myelitis (ATM) in forty-three COVID-19 patients across twenty-one countries. Spinal cord lesions developed in these patients after they had contracted COVID-19. Their symptoms included defects in the sphincter/bowel and paralysis.
The researchers also discovered three cases of ATM with severe adverse events during the COVID-19 vaccine trials of AZD1222.
About the Study
Gustavo Roman, M.D. led the study of patients ranging in age from twenty-one to seventy-three. The researchers believe that since rare neurological conditions usually appear in less than 4.6 cases for every one million cases, there is good reason to investigate ATM in post-COVID-19 patients.
Notably, three ATM patients were discovered during the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine trials.
A Report From Frontiers In Immunology
In its April 2021 publication, Frontiers in Immunology reported a clinical review of forty-three adult patients aged 21 to 73 from twenty-one countries. The study was conducted from March 2020 through January 2021. MRIs were available from forty patients. The severe adverse events were 58 percent quadriplegia and 42 percent paraplegia.
Judging by Frontiers’ report, the researchers were of the opinion that ATM was becoming an unexpected and frequent complication of COVID-19. Sixty-eight percent of the COVID-19 cases studied developed complications anywhere from ten days to six weeks from the time of the COVID infection (latency period). The researchers point out that neurological complications occurred in several patients after COVID and that may be due to the body’s (host’s) reaction to the COVID-19 virus.
In addition, the shorter latency period found in several other patients suggests the direct involvement of SARS CoV-2.
Until further studies show otherwise, researchers are offering the theory that suggests the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 antigens (foreign substances) activating immune responses that lead to myelitis. These antigens may also be present in the AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine.