Neurological Manifestations in a Cohort of Egyptian Patients With COVID-19: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has reached over 276 million people globally with 5.3 million deaths as of 22nd December 2021. COVID-19-associated acute and long-term neurological manifestations are well recognized. The exact profile and the timing of neurological events in relation to the onset of infection are worth exploring. The aim of the current body of work was to determine the frequency, pattern, and temporal profile of neurological manifestations in a cohort of Egyptian patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection. Methods: This was a prospective study conducted on 582 hospitalized COVID-19 patients within the first two weeks of the diagnosis of COVID-19 to detect any specific or non-specific neurological events. Results: The patients’ mean (SD) age was 46.74 (17.26) years, and 340 (58.42%) patients were females. The most commonly encountered COVID-19 symptoms were fever (90.72%), cough (82.99%), and fatigue (76.98%). Neurological events (NE) detected in 283 patients (48.63%) and were significantly associated with a severe COVID-19 at the onset (OR: 3.13; 95% CI: 2.18–4.51; p < 0.0001) and with a higher mortality (OR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.48–5.46; p = 0.019). The most frequently reported NEs were headaches (n = 167) and myalgias (n = 126). Neurological syndromes included stroke (n = 14), encephalitis (n = 12), encephalopathy (n = 11), transverse myelitis (n = 6) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (n = 4). Conclusions: Neurological involvement is common (48.63%) in COVID-19 patients within the first two weeks of the illness. This includes neurological symptoms such as anosmia, headaches, as well as a constellation of neurological syndromes such as stroke, encephalitis, transverse myelitis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Severity of acute COVID-19 illness and older age are the main risk factors.