Neurological Complications of COVID-19 Infection can be Effectively Managed, says Expert at Kauvery Hospital
18-year-old girl treated for multiple brain inflammation / Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
69-year-old man treated for sudden loss of memory and speech, which was an effect of COVID-19 Encephalopathy.
68-year-old woman treated for peripheral nerve damage due to Covid-19 leading to loss of finger movements and loss of balance.
Ever since the spread of COVID-19 affected multitudes of people across the globe, there is increasing identification of Post-COVID long term health conditions such as fibrotic lung, new onset diabetes, stroke, new onset epilepsy, psychological illness, easy clotting/thrombosis etc. Post-COVID care clinics were introduced in order to identify and treat such Post-COVID sequelae.
This being the current scenario, Kauvery Hospital one of the leading health care chains in Tamil Nadu, recently treated unique Post-COVID Illnesses. An 18-year-old girl was diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) commonly known as an inflammation in the brain or spine. She had an imbalance while walking with giddiness and sensory changes in the left side of her body. MRI Brain confirmed Multiple inflammatory changes typical of ADEM.
“Although the symptoms are similar to that of Multiple Sclerosis, she was diagnosed with ADEM, which usually occurs in an individual post viral infections. The patients family had tested positive for COVID several weeks before her admission, but she was asymptomatic then. SARS COV2 IgG antibody test in the girl was positive for past-COVID-19,” explains Dr. Sivarajan Thandeswaran, Senior Consultant – Stroke & Neurovascular Medicine.
Immediately she was admitted for treatment and within a week, there was great improvement in her walking and she was also free from other symptoms. While this was seen in a younger individual, another was of a 69-year-old gentleman who suffered from an acute onset of difficulty in speaking, confusion with fever, cold and severe intellectual difficulties similar to dementia. “While his routine dementia tests were negative, COVID-19 RTPCR was positive. Following initiation of steroids and Remdesivir, he showed dramatic improvement within 5 days. He regained his cognitive functions and ability to speak clearly and made a complete recovery from COVID-19 Encepalopathy,” adds Dr. Sivarajan Thandeswaran.
While the gentleman had central nervous system involvement, the next clinical scenario presented with peripheral nerve involvement in a 68-year-old lady who already had mild diabetes related numbness on her feet due to diabetic neuropathy. She noticed sudden loss of grip in her hands and feet leaving her unable to drape her saree and mix food with fingers. She has had mild Covid related illness few weeks ago and was COVID antibody positive. Tests confirmed GBS-Guillian Barre Syndrome which is a rare post-COVID sequelae. After initiation on Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) she made a full recovery in subsequent days.
Generally, people who are affected with COVID-19 undergo lot of prolonged illnesses often referred to as LONG COVID. 50-60% of those who recover from COVID-19 suffer from Post-COVID complications. The condition of ADEM is usually seen in younger population and there are worldwide case reports of this post-COVID syndrome.
“The virus has affected people by all means and every day we face different health scenarios. Since we saw a rise in such cases, our team introduced Post-COVID Wellness Centers, where people can seek the required healthcare support while recovering from COVID-19. It is to be emphasized that the pandemic is still simmering across the globe and it has become imperative for people to follow all the safety protocols and seek timely help,” says Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-founder & Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai.
For more details, please visit: Kauvery Hospital.