Some children with a rare multisystem inflammatory response to COVID-19 may experience neurological symptoms, a recent UK study found.
While younger populations tend to fare better with coronavirus infections, some pediatric patients develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. The syndrome has been compared to Kawasaki disease, which causes swelling in arteries throughout the body.
In the study, 27 children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London showed features consistent with coronavirus-related MIS-C, and four kids experienced neurological effects without respiratory symptoms.
Researchers in the UK published their findings last week in JAMA Neurology.
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The neurologic symptoms included encephalopathy (impaired brain function), headache and muscle weakness. The median age of symptom onset was 12 years.
Researchers said imaging revealed lesions on the brain. While these lesions have been seen with other viral infections, study authors suggest clinicians add SARS-CoV-2 to the list of possible diagnoses for kids showing new neurologic symptoms, while still exploring other causes.
All four patients required mechanical ventilation and a stay in the intensive care unit. Two of the patients fully recovered and were discharged from the hospital in less than a month. The other two patients left the intensive care unit but remain inpatients, as of the study’s publishing date.