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July 4, 2020

Neurological damage in 4 kids with corona PMIS

Top Story

July 4, 2020

NEW YORK: Children diagnosed with COVID-19 pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS, may develop new neurological problems without any of the respiratory issues commonly associated with the virus, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers examined 27 children with COVID-19 PMIS, who were previously healthy, between March 1 and May 8 at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England. They found that of the 27 patients, four experienced new neurological symptoms.

Symptoms included impaired brain function, headaches, brainstem and cerebellar issues, muscle weakness and reduced reflexes. All four patients required admission to the intensive care unit for treatment.

Although the study is small, researchers say the results show the coronavirus can also cause neurological damage in children — not just adults — without any of the respiratory symptoms that have become a hallmark indicator of COVID-19.

Neurological issues have been previously reported in adults with the coronavirus. The paper cites a different study published in May on the Wiley Online Library that examined 214 coronavirus patients in Wuhan, China. Of those patients, 78 experienced neurological symptoms, which included dizziness, headache, impaired consciousness, acute cerebrovascular disease, seizures and ataxia, which mimics being drunk, with slurred speech and stumbling. Moreover, scientists emphasised that since respiratory symptoms were uncommon among PMIS patients, clinicians should suspect COVID-19 in children who show new neurological problems without any other symptoms.