MINNEAPOLIS, April 17, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Half of the children who developed the severe disease associated with COVID-19 called childhood multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) had neurological symptoms or signs upon entering hospital, according to preliminary research to be presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology is being held virtually April 17 to 22, 2021. These symptoms included headache, encephalopathy and hallucinations.
“With this new inflammatory syndrome that develops after children are infected with the coronavirus, we are still learning how the syndrome affects children and what to watch out for,” said the study author. Omar Abdel-Mannan, MD, from University College London in the UK and member of the American Academy of Neurology. “We found that many children exhibited neurological symptoms involving both the central and peripheral nervous systems.”
For the study, researchers looked at the records of all children under the age of 18 admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London Between April 4, 2020, and September 1, 2020, which met the criteria for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.
There were 46 children with an average age of 10. Of those, 24 children had neurological symptoms or signs they had not experienced before. Twenty-four had headaches, 14 had encephalopathy, six had voice abnormalities or hoarseness, six had hallucinations, and five had ataxia or impaired coordination. In addition, three children had problems with their peripheral nerves and one child had seizures.
Children with neurological symptoms were more likely to need a ventilator and medication to help stabilize their blood flow than children without neurological symptoms. However, there was no difference in demographics, inflammatory markers, management or short-term outcome between the two groups.
“Children who develop this disease should definitely be evaluated for neurological symptoms and long-term cognitive results,” Abdel-Mannan said. “Further studies are needed involving more children and the following children to see how this condition changes over time and if there are longer-term neurocognitive effects.”
Learn more about COVID-19 at BrainandLife.org, home of the American Academy of Neurology’s free magazine for patients and caregivers, focused on the intersection of neurological diseases and brain health. To pursue Brain and life® on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
When posting information about this research on social media, we encourage you to use the hashtag #AANAM from the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting.
The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscientists, with over 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurological care. A neurologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, disease of Parkinson’s and epilepsy.
For more information on the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
SOURCE American Academy of Neurology