36% of Chinese COVID-19 patients in study had neurologic symptoms

In China, more than one-third of patients with COVID-19 had neurologic symptoms, a new study shows.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology, was conducted at three designated special care centers for COVID-19 in a hospital in Wuhan, China.

Researchers examined clinical data for 214 COVID-19 patients collected from Jan. 16 to Feb. 19. Neurologic symptoms fell into three categories: central nervous system manifestations, such as dizziness, headaches and seizures; peripheral nervous system manifestations, such as taste, smell and vision impairment and nerve pain; and skeletal muscle injury.

Of the 214 patients, 78 (36.4 percent) had neurologic symptoms.

Eighty-eight of the 214 patients had a severe case of COVID-19. Patients with severe infections had higher rates of some neurologic symptoms. For example, 14.8 percent with severe infections showed impaired consciousness, compared to 2.4 percent of patients who did not have a severe infection.

Researchers also found that most neurologic symptoms occurred early in the illness.


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