Neuro- and Post-Covid Syndrome: The Nervous System suffers as well

Andrea Winkler (r.) and Paul Lingor give a Covid-19 lecture on acute and chronic

Andrea Winkler (r.) and Paul Lingor give a Covid-19 lecture on acute and chronic neurological effects of corona infection on July 7. Image: ediundsepp

Interview with Prof. Andrea Winkler and Prof. Paul Lingor before their talk at the Covid-19 Lectures

Neuroand Post-Covid Syndrome: The Nervous System suffers as well

The Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus can also affect the nervous system. Prof. Andrea Winkler and Prof. Paul Lingor, both from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Neurology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich, will provide information about acute and chronic effects in an online lecture on Wednesday, June 7, 6:15 pm. In advance, they give a little insight in this interview.

Which neurological symptoms are particularly common in acute corona infection? Prof. Lingor: When a corona infection progresses with symptoms, patients especially complain often of headache, fatigue, exhaustion, but also of the now well-known smell and taste disorders. About one third of corona patients suffer from such neurological complaints. In significantly less severe cases, strokes or inflammation of the brain may also occur.

Why do some still have such complaints even after months? Prof. Lingor: We now know that the Sars-CoV-2 virus can also enter the central nervous system through various ports of entry and cause damage there. In rare cases, this leads to inflammation of the brain tissue - a so-called encephalitis - or damage to peripheral nerves. Our nervous system recovers from such damage only over the course of many months. However, there are also numerous patients who have undergone a corona infection without such severe involvement of the nervous system and still report ongoing symptoms. These include persistent fatigue, exhaustion, impaired concentration, cognitive impairment, but sometimes also palpitations or dizziness. The cause of these complaints is still largely unknown.

What consequences do you expect in the future? Prof. Winkler: In the majority of patients, corona disease will probably not lead to neurological deficits. However, we already know that some of the patients who have recovered have suffered long-lasting damage. Such events are either neurological symptoms that occurred during acute covid-19 disease and persist beyond (currently called "long-covid"), or ones that re-emerge after a symptom-free period, also called "post-covid." Whether there are different mechanisms of disease development and what the ultimate causes are is not clear at the moment. However, it is certain that these patients will continue to keep us busy in the future. Whether corona disease increases the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease later in life, we can’ t say with certainty on the basis of the data we have today - the course is still too short for this to be the case.

Live stream ,,Neuro-Covid und Post-Covid-Syndrom: akute und chronische Auswirkungen auf das Nervensystem" on July 7, 6.15 pm

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