On March 17 this year, a man was taken to hospital in Israel suffering from a dry cough and a loss of sense of smell. He developed a fever and felt tired but, after three days as an in-patient, was released to quarantine. Then something strange started happening.
His handwriting changed. It became smaller, crabbed and unreadable. Not just that, but he struggled to speak clearly or write texts on his phone. His right hand began to tremble. Eventually, symptoms became so bad that he returned to hospital, this time to the department of neurology, dealing in disorders of the brain and nervous system. A battery of tests was performed. Then doctors gave him a devastating diagnosis: Parkinson’s. The man was just 45. It was two months since his positive test for Covid-19.
This case, newly described, is not unique. Across the world, doctors have noticed that Covid is often accompanied not just by the familiar shortness of breath and coughing that affect the body, but also by a huge range of conditions hitting the brain – from foggy thinking, through delirium, all the way to strokes and Parkinsonism.
So serious was this in Britain that, as the pandemic took hold early this year, doctors set up a monthly committee to coordinate reports of brain disorders. Neurologist Dr Hadi Manji was among them. Very quickly, he says: “We had to make the meeting weekly because of the numbers of referrals.”
Indeed, new research from Chicago reports that one third of Covid patients hospitalised early in the pandemic suffered some form of altered mental state – from confusion to unresponsiveness. That in itself is not so unusual. Being seriously ill affects lucidity. According to Mary Ni Lochlainn, fellow in Geriatric Medicine at King’s College London, up to 80 per cent of those in intensive care suffer delirium. But the consequences with Covid, the Chicago statistics suggest, are dramatic. Those with brain disorders needed three times as long in hospital as those without and were seven times more likely to die. On discharge only a third could perform routine tasks.
Image Credit: iMrSquid
The University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, today announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a [...]
A genetic modification in the ‘coat’ of a brain infection-causing virus may allow it to escape antibodies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. They say testing people for this and other viral mutations [...]
Current chemotherapy regimens slow cancer progression and save lives, but these powerful drugs affect both healthy and cancerous cells. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Nano Letters have designed DNA-based nanogels that only break down and [...]
The new technology behind Pfizer's and Moderna's coronavirus vaccines could be used to prevent everything from heart disease to cancer, experts say. The breakthrough vaccine 'platform' they use transforms the body into a virus-zapping vaccine [...]
Current state-of-the-art techniques have clear limitations when it comes to imaging the smallest nanoparticles, making it difficult for researchers to study viruses and other structures at the molecular level. Scientists from the University of Houston [...]
Virtual patients, vaccines, medicine-making biomachines and microneedles are examples of tech innovation that is meeting the moment to address the global health crisis. Health has been a strong focus for this year’s top 10 [...]
A Vancouver company is central to the news Monday morning that Pfizer is close to developing an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Pfizer said Monday that an early peek at the data on its [...]
The first coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19, a preliminary analysis shows. The developers - Pfizer and BioNTech - described it as a "great day for science and humanity". [...]
Researchers led by the University at Buffalo (UB) have devised a new method that could enhance the effectiveness of vaccines against the novel coronavirus, the virus that is responsible for causing COVID-19. Jonathan F. Lovell, PhD, an [...]
On March 17 this year, a man was taken to hospital in Israel suffering from a dry cough and a loss of sense of smell. He developed a fever and felt tired but, after three [...]
One of the world’s leading Covid-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in older adults as well as the young, its developers say, raising hopes of protection for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus that [...]
Coronavirus tests performed in labs are the gold standard for accuracy and antigen tests are a fast and inexpensive alternative. But backers of a third type of test, developed by a Nobel Prize winner [...]
COVID-19 is a severe infectious disease that has claimed >150,000 lives and infected millions in the United States thus far, especially the elderly population. Emerging evidence has shown the virus to cause hemorrhagic and immunologic [...]
Switzerland’s Covid-19 scientific taskforce chief says hospitals across the Alpine country could be swamped with new coronavirus cases in the next two or three weeks unless the situation improves. “We estimate that the capacity limit [...]
Scientists are to increase surveillance for new coronavirus mutations amid concerns that future strains of the virus could develop at least partial resistance to antibody treatments and Covid-19 vaccines. There is no evidence that the [...]