Neurologic Aspects of Coronavirus Disease of 2019 Infection

Catherine E. Hassett; Jennifer A. Frontera


Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2021;34(3):217-227. 

In This Article


Commonly reported neurologic complications of COVID-19 include toxic-metabolic encephalopathy, acute cerebrovascular disorders, seizures, and anoxic-brain injury. Other postinfectious complications, such as encephalitis, meningitis, and postinfectious demyelination, appear rare. While most neurological complications appear to be secondary insults related to hypoxia, sepsis, critical illness and/or COVID-related hypercoagulability, the possibility of direct neurotropism remains, albeit with conflicting clinical and neuropathological data. Recent reports of persistent neurocognitive symptoms highlight the possibility of lasting impairment. Clinicians must have a high clinical suspicion for both acute and chronic neurologic complications in the COVID-19 infected patient and more research on therapies to mitigate long-term sequelae are needed.