Mid and long-term neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of post-COVID-19 syndrome: A meta-analysis

Journal of the Neurological SciencesPremraj L, Kannapadi NV, Briggs J, et al. | January 28, 2022


Researchers aimed at determining the prevalence of neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms reported 3 months or more after acute COVID-19 onset in adults.

  • Performing a systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus, researchers identified 19 studies encompassing 11,324 patients (hospitalized and non-hospitalized) for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

  • Three months after COVID-19 onset, neurological symptom overall prevalence was as follows: fatigue (37%), brain fog (32%), memory issues (27%), attention disorder (22%), myalgia (18%), anosmia (12%), dysgeusia (11%), and headache (10%). The prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms was sleep disturbances (31%), anxiety (23%), and depression (12%).

  • Between mid- and long-term follow-up, there was a substantial increase in prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

  • Anosmia, anxiety, depression, dysgeusia, fatigue, headache, myalgia, and sleep disturbance were less frequent at 3 (or more) months post infection among patients hospitalized for acute COVID-19, vs non-hospitalized patients.

  • Conversely, higher frequency of memory issues was recorded in correlation with hospital admission.

  • There was a higher prevalence of fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances in cohorts with > 20% of patients admitted to the ICU during acute COVID-19 vs cohorts with < 20% of ICU admission.

  • Researchers herein emphasize the necessity for randomized controlled trials to develop intervention strategies to lower disease burden considering the high prevalence of neurological and neuropsychiatric post-COVID-19 syndrome.

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