Neurological and psychological effects of COVID-19 reported by CoroNerve

30 Jun 2020

A new collaborative partnership called CoroNerve has reported some interesting findings about the neurological and psychological effects of COVID-19 infection. The main objective of the partnership is to facilitate reporting of neuro-psychiatric problems in COVID-19.

There are three tiers of reporting including rapid reporting using the ABN RaDAR platform to report COVID-19 neurological problems.

Since its posting in mid-May “UK-Wide Surveillance of Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Complications Of Covid-19: The First 153 Patients" has been downloaded 836 times.

These data were subsequently published in Lancet Psychiatry on 25 June. These first data were collected between 2 April and 26 April, during the exponential phase of the pandemic. There were complete data for 125 patients.

77 patients had a stroke, and 39 had an altered mental state such as brain inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms. Age data was available for 74 of the patients who experienced a stroke and the majority were over 60 years of age. 39 patients showed signs of confusion or changes in behaviour reflecting an altered mental state. Of these, nine patients had unspecified brain dysfunction, known as encephalopathy, and seven patients had encephalitis.

The remaining 23 patients with an altered mental state were diagnosed with psychiatric conditions, of which the vast majority were determined as new diagnoses. Seven patients had signs of a mood disorder, including depression and anxiety. Age information was available for 37 of the 39 patients with an altered mental state and of those, around half were aged under 60 years of age.

Since reporting the first data from April, a further 500 cases of neuropsychiatric complications COVID-19 have been reported to ABN RaDAR. The group is planning to publish more detailed data in the next few weeks, and contribute to an IPD metaanalysis with data contributed from the EU, USA, Canada and Malawi.

About CoroNerve

The partnership is between all paediatric and adult neurology, psychiatry and ICU associations in the UK. The core steering committee consists of six members with representation from neurology, psychiatry and infectious diseases. Sarah Pett is the Infectious diseases specialist representative.

There are three tiers of reporting:

  • Tier 1: rapid reporting using the ABN RaDAR platform to report COVID-19 neurological problems
  • Tier 2: standard form to capture more detail of these COVID-19 related neurological problems
  • Tier 3: linking neurological problems, with stored samples of plasma, serum, imaging findings and CSF through the ISARIC network.