Covid-19 generates brain complications in hospitalized patients

Symptoms of brain disease detected after covid-19 0:52

(CNN Spanish) – Covid-19 can cause brain and nervous system complications in hospitalized patients, a new study indicates. In this episode, Dr. Huerta breaks down which are those neurological symptoms that can affect patients with the disease.

You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.

Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information about the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.

Today we will see that hospitalized patients with covid-19 show a very high frequency of nervous system complications.

The ravages of the coronavirus in the body

At the time of writing this episode, humanity has been living with a disease called covid-19, caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, for almost 18 months.

As we have heard in multiple previous episodes, the knowledge that science has acquired about the disease has been progressive.

From being considered only a respiratory infection, whose main complication was pneumonia – we remember that it was baptized as Wuhan pneumonia – we have been learning that covid-19 is a multisystemic disease, that is, it is capable of affecting several organs and body systems.

In this sense, in this series of more than 280 episodes about covid-19, we have reviewed various types of complications caused by the new coronavirus, including complications of the cardiovascular system, the skin, the glandular system, the digestive and nervous system, among others.

Covid-19 and the nervous system: how does the virus affect it?

Now, a recent article makes a new review of the topic of neurological complications of covid-19 and concludes that 82% of patients hospitalized with this disease develop symptoms and signs of nervous system involvement.

The study, conducted by American and European researchers, and published online in the medical journal JAMA on Tuesday, May 11, describes the experience of 28 hospital centers in 13 countries on 4 continents in relation to neurological complications developed in hospitalized patients with covid -19.

The results indicated that of the 3,743 patients studied, 3,083 or 82% had some neurological manifestation, either as self-reported symptoms or clinically demonstrated neurological signs.

The most common symptoms included:

Headache, in 37%, Loss of smell or taste in 26%.

Among the signs captured by doctors during the clinical examination, the most frequent were:

Signs of brain inflammation or acute encephalopathy in 49%, Coma in 17%, Stroke in 6%.

What does it mean to have any of these abnormalities?

A very significant finding was that in those patients who had abnormalities found in the clinical examination, the risk of in-hospital death was almost 6 times higher than in patients with normal clinical examinations.

On the other hand, those patients who had a previous history of prior neurological disorders had a higher risk of developing neurological signs from COVID-19, so their risk of death was also higher.

The authors conclude that neurological manifestations were prevalent among patients hospitalized for covid-19 and these were associated with higher in-hospital mortality.

What does the study leave us?

Without a doubt, a study like this is of vital importance for doctors who see patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and for affected patients and their families.

For doctors, because it will allow them to be more attentive to neurological complications and make better diagnoses; for patients, so that they can accept some of the complications that may occur long after leaving the hospital; as well as for family members, who will have to help their loved ones to fight against these complications.

But for everyone else, a study like this should serve to strengthen prevention measures and avoid contagion.

This is because we must understand that a contagion leads us to the disease, and this, to a possible complication and hospitalization.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus?

Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @DrHuerta.

If you think this podcast is useful, help others find it by rating and reviewing it on your favorite podcast app. We will be back tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to get the latest episode on your account.

And for the most up-to-date information you can always head to Thanks for your attention.

If you have any questions you can send them to Dr. Elmer Huerta through Twitter. You can also head over to for all episodes of our “Coronavirus: Reality vs. Reality” podcast. fiction”.

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