COVID-19 and the Nervous System
My long-time editor, Bret Stetka, MD, at Medscape.com, asked me to write about the effects of COVID-19 on the nervous system. There have been many recent reports of neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19, but the critical question remains whether the virus directly targets neurons or whether neurological symptoms result from indirect injury. Rabies virus, for example, directly infects the nervous system with 100% mortality. If SARS-CoV-2 does attack the brain directly, it certainly does so less frequently and/or with lesser impact.
As SARS-CoV-2 is a new viral infection for human beings, and affects such high numbers of people, case reports in the medical literature are appearing rapidly, almost daily. These publications are more difficult to interpret than controlled retrospective or prospective controlled studies.
As of the writing of the article, just a few days ago, I concluded that there is no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly affects the central or peripheral nervous system. With new information, that conclusion may change.
You can read my article here: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/928903
As always, your comments are appreciated.
This Sunday, listen to my interview with Debra Blaine, an urgent care physician and author of "Code Blue," her first novel. Many more interesting guests are already lined up. New podcasts appear every other Sunday.
If you enjoy this new endeavor, please subscribe!