The neurological symptoms of COVID-19: A systematic overview of systematic reviews, comparison with other neurological conditions and implications for healthcare services

Journal article


Wildwing, T. and Holt, N. 2021. The neurological symptoms of COVID-19: A systematic overview of systematic reviews, comparison with other neurological conditions and implications for healthcare services. Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease. 12, pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/2040622320976979
AuthorsWildwing, T. and Holt, N.
Abstract

Objective: In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, this paper provides health professionals with better accessibility to available evidence, summarising findings from a systematic overview of systematic reviews of the neurological symptoms seen in patients with COVID-19. Implications of so-called ‘Long Covid’ on neurological services and primary care and similarities with other neurological disorders are discussed.

Methods: Firstly, a systematic overview of current reviews of neurological symptoms of COVID-19 was conducted. Secondly the implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the potential effect on neurological services and the similarities in the experience of patients with COVID-19 and those with other neurological disorders. Forty-five systematic reviews were identified within seven databases, published between 11th April 2020 and 15th October 2020, following a search in June 2020, updated on 20th October 2020.

Results: The results indicated that COVID-19 exhibits two types of neurological symptoms; life threatening symptoms such as Guillain Barre Syndrome and encephalitis, and less devastating symptoms such as fatigue and myalgia. Many of these so-called lesser symptoms appear to be emerging as longer-term for some sufferers and have been recently labelled Long Covid. When compared, these less devastating symptoms are very similar to other neurological conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).

Conclusions: Implications for neurological healthcare services in the UK may include longer waiting times and a need for more resources (including more qualified health professionals). There is also a possible change-effect on health professionals’ perceptions of other neurological conditions such as CFS and FND. Future research is recommended to explore changes in health professionals’ perceptions of neurological symptoms because of COVID-19.

KeywordsCOVID-19; Long Covid; Functional Neurological Disorder; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Neurological Services ; Coronavirus
Year2021
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease
Journal citation12, pp. 1-18
PublisherSAGE Journals
ISSN2040-6223
2040-6231
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/2040622320976979
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1177/2040622320976979
Publication dates
Online28 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Nov 2020
Deposited03 Feb 2021
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8x0x7/the-neurological-symptoms-of-covid-19-a-systematic-overview-of-systematic-reviews-comparison-with-other-neurological-conditions-and-implications-for-healthcare-services

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Accepted author manuscript
TAJ-20-09-SR-004.R2_Proof_hi.pdf
License: CC BY-NC 4.0
File access level: Open

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