Document Type: Review Article

Author

Department of Family Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA

Abstract

Most of what we know about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is limited to the severe acute respiratory syndrome, epidemiology, fatality, and acute care. However, infection with COVID-19 may also involve the central nervous system (CNS), which may or may not be due to a multi-organ injury. Our aim in this paper is to briefly summarize the main aspects of the growing literature on neurological manifestations of the COVID-19 infection. As such, after mentioned some general background on the economic and medical pandemic on the populations, the healthcare system, and the society, we summarize some common aspects of the published literature on neurological manifestations of the COVID-19 infection. We also highlight the existing gaps in the literature, which requires additional work. The most common neurological manifestation of COVID-19 infection is the olfactory deficit. However, it is still unknown if it is inflammatory or degenerative in nature. Still, the incidence of neurological involvement, and also mechanisms and their treatments are unknown. This literature is predominantly composed of opinions and reviews rather than original articles, so the patients’ data are not used for a majority of the studies. Multi-center studies that not only conduct chest CT or MRI but also brain CT or MRI are needed. Randomized trials are still required on the management of acute and chronic neurological conditions due to COVID-19 infection. Cohort studies may also determine the natural history of the conditions and factors that are prognostic. Furthermore, while disparities in COVID-19 infections are known, inequalities in neurological manifestations are unknown. Besides, the efficacy of specific treatments on CNS involvement is still unknown. We will discuss the health care needs of patients with chronic neurological conditions. We end the paper with a few recommendations for practice and research.

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