Increased Long-Term Risks for Patients with Acute COVID-19 Neurological Conditions

Increased Long-Term Risks for Patients with Acute COVID-19 Neurological Conditions

Patients with COVID-19 can experience acute neurological problems including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, encephalitis, and encephalopathy. Do these COVID-19 survivors face a greater long-term risk for health problems or death compared with other patients with COVID-19?

To find out, Tim Duong, Ph.D., and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System colleagues conducted a long-term (three-year) follow-up study comparing 400 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized during 2020 with acute neurological problems with more than 1,000 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who did not exhibit acute neurological problems. Over the three-year follow-up period, patients with COVID-19 with acute neurological manifestations were found to have worse long-term outcomes compared with their matched COVID-19 controls, including higher rates of mortality, stroke, heart attack, and reinfection. The findings underscore the need to closely monitor COVID-19 survivors who suffered from acute neurological problems during their infection. The results of the study published online on April 4 in PLOS Medicine.

Dr. Duong is professor and vice chair for research of radiology at Einstein and Montefiore, professor of biochemistry, professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein, and a member of the National Cancer Institute-designated Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center. The lead author was Anna Eligulashvili, a medical student at Einstein. This work was a collaboration with Mark Mehler, M.D., Emad Eskandar, M.D., David Altschul, M.D., all at Einstein and Montefiore.