Most hospitalized US coronavirus patients experience neurological symptoms, study says

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Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP

(Jessica Schladebeck/ Daily News) — The majority of people hospitalized with coronavirus in America experience neurological symptoms, including muscle pain, headaches and encephalopathy, researchers at Northwestern Medicine have learned.

Of the first 509 people admitted across Chicago-area hospitals for COVID-19 this spring, 82% had a neurological symptom at some point over the course of their illness, according to a study published Monday in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

“That means 4 out of 5 hospitalized patients in our hospital system at the beginning of the pandemic had those neurologic problems,” Dr. Igor Koralnik, a co-author of the study and chief of neuro-infectious diseases and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine, told NBC News.

Nearly half of hospitalized patients, about 45%, said they suffered from muscle aches while about 38% reported having headaches. And about a third developed encephalopathy, a term that refers to an alteration in brain structure or function. (…)

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