Scientific reports reported during the beginning and continuation of the COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) epidemic, which is considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization, do not only indicate the respiratory tract of the disease; It reveals that it affects neurological systems together or sometimes alone.
Although the vaccines developed sprinkle water on the hearts, new neurological symptoms and signs associated with COVID-19, which continues to spread all over the world at an unavoidable speed and already infect millions of people, are being added day by day. Without the common symptoms of the disease such as high fever, weakness, cough and shortness of breath; Neurological symptoms such as headache, lack of taste and smell, dizziness, instability, vision loss, confusion or loss of consciousness, sudden forgetfulness, paralysis, progressive loss of strength and numbness in hands and feet, neuropathic pain can be the first signal of COVID-19 infection. Acıbadem Fulya Hospital Neurology Specialist Dr. Faculty Member Yıldız Kaya pointed out that neurological symptoms can be added to the table in addition to other findings, especially in patients with severe lung infection, "Recognizing the neurological symptoms of the disease by the society is the most important factor for patients to access treatment opportunities without delay." says. Acıbadem Fulya Hospital Neurology Specialist Dr. Faculty Member Yıldız Kaya explained the 19 neurological signals of Covid-7 and made important warnings.
Headache is one of the most common symptoms of Covid-19. So much so that the incidence in patients can increase up to 40 percent. "In headache that develops due to Covid-19, a feeling of heaviness occurs in the whole head in a way and severity that did not exist before, and sometimes it has a sharp character like a knife stabbing." warned Dr. Yıldız Kaya, faculty member, emphasizes that the pain, which can be so severe that it can be awakened from sleep, generally does not relieve with painkillers. Stating that the headache that develops due to Covid-19 infection is different from migraine, Dr. Faculty Member Yıldız Kaya said, “This pain is bilateral, all-head, resistant pain that does not decrease despite painkillers. It continues for days, and its intensity may increase within days. " says.
Common muscle aches
Widespread muscle pain is also among the common symptoms of Covid-19 infection. Neurology Specialist Dr. Yıldız Kaya, a faculty member, states that due to the inflammatory involvement in the muscle fibers due to this disease, loss of muscle cells and loss of strength may develop, although rare. Complaints such as severe pain in the body, arm and leg muscles and joints, and tenderness when touched can continue even days after the Covid-19 infection heals.
Common numbness in the arms and legs
In the early or late period of Covid-19 infection, symptoms of neuropathy, which develops with the complaints of widespread numbness, pain and loss of strength in the arms and legs, in other words, damage to the nerve endings in the body may occur. Neuropathy can cause gait difficulties, difficulty in using the hands, sensory disturbances such as burning and tingling in the hands and feet, and pain. Guillain Barré Syndrome, which starts suddenly and progresses rapidly and shows involvement from legs to arms and even respiratory muscles, can also develop in some Covid-19 patients.
Changes in consciousness may also develop in elderly patients, especially in patients with dementia, and also in Covid-19 patients with comorbidities, in other words, previously known to have had a stroke, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease. Dr. Yıldız Kaya, a faculty member, warned that symptoms such as sudden forgetfulness, behavioral changes and memory defects can often appear as the first symptom of Covid-19 disease in elderly people, saying: “Except that Covid-19 infection directly affects the brain cell; It causes changes due to metabolic disorders and decreased oxygenation due to intense inflammatory events in the body. In addition, the development of multi-organ failure caused by the cytokine storm triggered by the virus also causes the picture defined as encephalopathy.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, spending a long time at home and stress negatively affect the duration and quality of sleep. Dr. Yıldız Kaya, faculty member, stated that during the pandemic process, difficulty falling asleep and insomnia problems are seen more in the society, “Covid-19 may cause sleep-related diseases such as sleep and wakeful rhythm disturbance depending on environmental and social conditions, as well as previous sleep diseases. It can also cause deterioration. Sleep disorders can be the harbinger of Covid-19 in elderly people and especially in dementia patients. Situations such as the development of continuous sleepiness that did not exist before, hallucinations that develop at night, and confusion of place and time may appear as symptoms of the disease. says.
Dizziness and instability
Covid-19 infection can damage the balance nerve with hearing, causing complaints such as tinnitus and dizziness or shaking sensation triggered by head movements. It can also cause sudden hearing loss.
Loss of taste and smell
Without any other signs of Covid-19 infection; Loss of taste and smell may develop as the only symptom. The difference of this infection from other viral infections that cause smell disorder is that it causes serious smell without nasal congestion. Studies have revealed that the reason for this is the presence of an enzyme called ACE-2 in high amounts in the olfactory area in the nose and acting as the gate that allows the coronavirus to enter the body. The loss of taste and smell due to Covid-19 infection sometimes resolves completely in about 2-4 weeks.
It can cause a stroke!
Stroke is among the neurological symptoms of Covid-19 infection. Covid-19 infection can cause stroke by directly affecting both the neurological structures of the body and the coagulation properties and vascular structure of the blood. Factors such as advanced age, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart diseases trigger stroke. However, in Covid-19 infection, stroke due to cerebral vascular occlusions can also develop in young people without any risk factors.