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Neurology and COVID19: What You Should Know

The list of symptoms caused by COVID-19 increases each day. In the beginning, many experts believed the novel coronavirus caused influenza-like symptoms. However, some experts now believe the virus may cause neurological damage as well. 

So who’s at risk for developing complications?

Based on the current understanding of COVID-19, you may be at a higher risk of developing complications if you’re 65 or older, immunocompromised, or have a severe chronic condition. Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and HIV can cause dysfunctions of the immune system. 

Certain medications — including NSAIDs, cough medications, and birth control pills — can lower your body’s ability to fight infections. Furthermore, chemotherapy therapy, antibiotics, and steroids can also cause immunity issues.

From our expert neurologist Dr. David Sudderth, here’s the latest information on how COVID-19 may also cause neurological problems. 

Difficulty breathing linked to neurological damage 

Coughing and difficulty breathing are common symptoms in COVID-19 patients. When your body can’t use oxygen properly, your brain suffers as well. 

At the moment, researchers don’t know for certain whether COVID-19 causes neurological issues directly or indirectly by interfering with your brain’s ability to use oxygen.

One-third of COVID-19 patients experience neurological symptoms 

One study that looked at the symptoms of COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, found that one-third of the patients suffered from neurological damage.

The COVID-19 patients in Wuhan experienced the following symptoms:

The CDC has linked the loss of smell and taste to COVID-19. Changes in smell and taste can also occur after traumatic brain injuries and brain inflammation.

Currently, the Wuhan study is the only study that finds a clear link between neurological damage and COVID-19. Therefore, there isn’t enough evidence yet to conclude that the new coronavirus causes the same symptoms in everyone.

The impact of COVID-19 on patients with neurological damage 

If you’re suffering from neurological damage and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, contact a medical professional.

COVID-19 may make it harder for your brain to use oxygen and fight off inflammation, which could possibly worsen your condition (at least temporarily).

Signs of neurological damage may occur even in previously healthy individuals once they’re infected with the new coronavirus. If you experience symptoms and live near Fort Myers, Florida, call us to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Sudderth uses state-of-art diagnostic tools and he can prescribe a customized treatment plan to ease your neurological symptoms.

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