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Phoenix-based doctor studies how COVID-19 impacts the brain

Posted at 9:31 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 13:53:12-04

Researchers have discovered that patients with coronavirus can have a wider range of symptoms than commonly expected, including neurological deficits.

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“Almost two to three patients out of ten with COVID-19 infections may have symptoms without the so-called typical respiratory complaints,” said Dr. David Wang, a neurologist at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Wang worked on a study with researchers in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic. The team analyzed 214 patients and published the results in the Journal for the American Medical Association.

Out of the 214 patients, there were 36.4 percent who had neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headache, lost of senses, and stroke.

According to Barrow Neurological Institute, the study was the world’s first to analyze the virus’s effect on the nervous system.

The researchers found that the prevalence of neurological issues was even higher in severe cases of the virus — almost half (45 percent).

The study concluded that medical professionals shouldn’t overlook neurological symptoms as a potential clue for COVID-19.

“It is important for health care providers on the front lines to consider potential neurological-related symptoms when assessing new patients,” said Wang, in a news release about the study.