Neurologic Compromise in COVID-19: A Literature Review

Leonardo Jardim Vaz de Mello, Emylle Guimaraes Silva, Gabriel Oliveira Correa Rabelo, Mariana Evaristo Leite, Nathalia Ramos Vieira, Maryam Bahadori, Ali Seifi, Daniel Agustin Godoy


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease caused by a new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been associated with many neurological symptoms. The purpose of this article is to describe the neurological manifestations so far reported and their probable pathogenesis. We conducted a literature review on EMBASE, MEDLINE and SCIELO databases using the terms “COVID-19”, “COVID”, “neurological”, “neurologic”, “manifestations”, “implications”, “Guillain-Barre syndrome”, “encephalopathy”. A total of 33 articles including clinical series, retrospective studies, and case reports were selected and thoroughly reviewed to describe neurological manifestations of COVID-19. There are several neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection with different clinical presentations, severity, and prevalence. The most critical ones, such as cerebrovascular disease, encephalopathy, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, were less common and usually associated with previous medical history, known risk factors for cerebrovascular disease or advanced age. The main hypotheses for the spread of the virus are through the hematogenous route or the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone or a disseminated severe immune response by a cytokine storm. The presence of neurological disturbances associated with laboratory tests alterations is an important clue for the physicians to promptly recognize neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2.

J Neurol Res. 2020;10(5):164-172


Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Neurological manifestations; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Anosmia; Ageusia; Encephalitis

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