According to the researchers, since COVID-19 broke out, there appeared to be a “concerning increase” of a rare brain inflammation known to be triggered by viral infections.
In the UCL study, nine COVID-19 patients with brain inflammation were diagnosed with a rare condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which is typically seen in children and can affect both the brain and spinal cord.
They said that some of the 43 patients studied did not have respiratory symptoms.
Ross Paterson, of UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, and joint first author on the study, was quoted by local media as saying that “we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause.”
As a result, the researchers called for systematic surveillance of brain complications as a result of COVID-19 infection.