Delhi hospital finds rise in neurological issues among post-COVID patients
A leading hospital in Delhi said that it has been recording a "troubling rise" in neurological issues, including brain hemorrhage, among people who have recovered from COVID-19. The Moolchand Hospital claimed that 50% of their neuroscience department is "filled with such cases." The hospital said Saturday that the most common neurological syndromes found among such patients were acute encephalopathy, coma, and stroke.
Syndromes reported 2-3 months after infection: Expert
Dr. Asha Bakshi—a neurosurgeon at Moolchand Hospital—told PTI that most of the patients reported these syndromes after two to three months of COVID-19 recovery. Dr. Bakshi said the hospital has witnessed 49% cases of acute encephalopathy, 17% cases of coma, and 6% cases of stroke. "Presence of clinically captured neurologic signs or syndromes was associated with increased risk of in-hospital death," she added.
60% of patients in OPD report mental health issues
The hospital said that up to 60% of patients in its out-patient department (OPD) have complained about increased mental health issues like anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, loneliness, and that most of them are post-COVID cases. Doctors said post-COVID patients are returning to the hospital after weeks with complaints such as headache, giddiness, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, memory problems, anxiety, depression, stroke, pain, and sleep disorders.
'Mental health issue has impact on India's economic health'
On mental health issues, Dr. Bakshi said the situation is similar worldwide and referred to a study from Assam, which found "46% had anxiety, 22% had some form of depression and 5% had suicidal thoughts." She also stressed that the issue needs to be addressed seriously as it has a direct implication on our "social fabric," work-life, and "subsequent economic health of the nation."
Other hospitals claim similar increase in neurological cases
Akash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital said that it has also received 15-20 cases of neurological conditions in post-COVID patients in the past two-four weeks. "The most common condition we have seen are migrainous headaches and post-COVID encephalopathy apart from proximal myopathy. The other rarer conditions included Guillain-Barré syndrome," neurologist Dr. Madhukar Bhardwaj said. He said most cases are reported after one-two months of recovery.
'Headaches migrainous in character; present in younger age group'
Talking about the nature of headaches, Dr. Bhardwaj said, "The headaches are migrainous in character, present in the younger age group, and don't respond that well to common medications used for common migraine." He said there are no cases of children suffering from these conditions.