Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Neurological manifestations involving the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) have perplexed clinicians since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Coronavirus infections have demonstrated both neurotropic and neuroinvasive capabilities. Central nervous system and PNS symptoms have been reported, including headache, anosmia, ageusia, encephalitis, encephalopathy, dizziness, headache, seizures, stroke, and transverse myelitis (TM). Neuronal injury driven by a host-immune response has been thought to trigger the cascade of events that instigate the onset of these conditions. Understanding how Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) invades the CNS will lead to a greater understanding of TM’s prognosis and long-term effects.

While acute TM is a possible outcome after many various other viruses, the incidence has unexpectedly increased secondary to COVID-19. Acute TM, when left untreated can have devastating long-term consequences on a patient’s health. Early recognition of acute TM is critical to facilitate prompt and accurate patient treatment. Recent advancements in the diagnosis, clinical findings, and treatment for inflammatory myelitis associated with COVID-19 will be examined. The pathophysiological mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 will be analyzed to understand the neuroinvasion that causes acute TM in the setting of COVID-19.


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