Jennifer Frontera, MD: Neurologic Implications of COVID-19 Infection


The professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine gave her reaction to the data she and colleagues published on neurologic disorders in patients with COVID-19.

"Toxic metabolic encephalopathy was the most common neurological disorder that we saw in the context of COVID. We know that that's common in general and hospitalized patients, but the severity of it was somewhat surprising to us, I would say.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been trying to uncover more data detailing how the virus may impact neurologic pathology. In contrast to prior retrospective studies that focused on the conglomerate prevalence of non-specific neurologic symptoms along with neurologic diagnoses, Jennifer Frontera, MD, and her colleagues applied rigorous, standardized criteria to identify the prevalence of specific neurologic diagnoses in a prospective fashion.

Frontera, a professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine, and colleagues found that 13.5% of patients with COVID-19 hospitalized during the study timeframe developed a new neurologic disorder in a median of 2 days from COVID-19 symptom onset. Among them included toxic/metabolic encephalopathy, seizure, stroke, and hypoxic/ischemic injury.

NeurologyLive originally spoke to Frontera in April concerning some of the preliminary data on COVID-19 that had been published. We reconvened for another discussion, this time to get her perspective and thoughts on her study data, and whether the identified levels of new neurologic disorders surprised her.

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