Neurobiology of COVID-19

Majid Fotuhi, Ali Mian, Somayeh Meysami, Cyrus A. Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anosmia, stroke, paralysis, cranial nerve deficits, encephalopathy, delirium, meningitis, and seizures are some of the neurological complications in patients with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) which is caused by acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov2). There remains a challenge to determine the extent to which neurological abnormalities in COVID-19 are caused by SARS-Cov2 itself, the exaggerated cytokine response it triggers, and/or the resulting hypercoagulapathy and formation of blood clots in blood vessels throughout the body and the brain. In this article, we review the reports that address neurological manifestations in patients with COVID-19 who may present with acute neurological symptoms (e.g., stroke), even without typical respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Next, we discuss the different neurobiological processes and mechanisms that may underlie the link between SARS-Cov2 and COVID-19 in the brain, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, and muscles. Finally, we propose a basic 'NeuroCovid' classification scheme that integrates these concepts and highlights some of the short-term challenges for the practice of neurology today and the long-term sequalae of COVID-19 such as depression, OCD, insomnia, cognitive decline, accelerated aging, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease in the future. In doing so, we intend to provide a basis from which to build on future hypotheses and investigations regarding SARS-Cov2 and the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-Cov2
  • anosmia
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • cytokines
  • seizure
  • vasculitis

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