Jennifer Frontera, MD: Comparing COVID-19 Neurologic Data

November 4, 2020
Jennifer Frontera, MD

SAP Partner | <b>NYU Langone Health</b>

The professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine gave her thoughts on how her recently published data on neurologic disorders in COVID-19 compare to previously reported data.

"Can the virus get in the brain? It appears it can, but is it just entering tissue that’s already damaged? I don’t know.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have tried to understand whether the virus has a direct effect on the pathology of neurologic disorders. One of the earliest papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that the virus was linked to encephalopathy, prominent agitation and confusion, and corticospinal tract signs. Increased rates of stroke, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and hypoxic/ischemic injury have also been documented among patients with COVID-19.

Recently released data from Jennifer Frontera, MD, and colleagues found that 13.5% of patients with COVID-19 hospitalized during the study timeframe developed a new neurologic disorder. They also found that patients with neurologic disorders were more often male, white, hypertensive, diabetic, intubated, and had higher sequential organ failure assessment scores.

The incidence of stroke, found in 1.9% of study population, has been a topic of discussion after conflicted reports published in October indicated a low risk of stroke. Frontera, a professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine, believes that her research stands in good positioning along with what has published. She sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss some of the inconsistencies in what has previously been reported and how those compare to her data.