Covid mainly affects the respiratory system, causing lung disorders and low oxygen saturation. However, we have also seen many patients with neurological issues. Out of the neurological patients that visit our OPD on a regular basis, a significant percentage have Covid or have Covid-related neurological symptoms says Dr. Rohit Gupta, the best Neurologist in India.
Effects of Covid on the nervous system
Covid patients are often quarantined at home or in the intensive care unit of a hospital after they have recently had the disease. They suffer from a variety of neuropsychological problems after they recover from treatment, including extreme fatigue, a severe lack of energy, slowness, and brain fog (inability to think clearly). To begin with, we assumed that this was the result of psychological factors, home isolation, or intensive treatment. This may be part of the truth, but Covid, in and of itself, produces these symptoms. Due to the fact that this group of patients suffers from depression, and anxiety for a long time, they are in need of treatment. It is also called Long Covid.
Besides anxiety and depression, caregivers also suffer from severe mental conditions, which last for long periods, and they need to be treated since they also suffer.
Some of these patients also suffer from depression and anxiety after experiencing family deaths, long ICU stays, or tremendous financial or emotional strain. This is not something to be ignored, but rather should be taken very seriously, as it reduces the quality of life. It is very important to treat post-covid syndrome and the consequences of covid in caregivers.
How do we make the diagnosis?
Detecting suspicion early is the most important step. Patients who complain of head and face pain and numbness should be suspected of having mucormycosis. This condition needs to be diagnosed with an MRI or CT scan quickly. It is most commonly the case that these patients have taken excessively long-term steroids without any good reason. These patients may have high blood sugar, diabetes ketoacidosis, renal failure, and immune suppression. There have been a few cases, however, where none of these factors were present.
Various theories have been proposed, including the use of industrial oxygen, improper hygiene, and overcrowding in the hospital and the homes. Some of these theories may be true, while others may not be. The major link is the combination of Covid and steroids, followed by high blood sugar. It is common for mucormycosis patients to develop such symptoms. Early treatment and aggressive treatment, as well as early surgery, can often save these patients. The mortality rate can be reduced from 60-70% to 20%. Treatment and survival of mucormycosis depend on awareness, early diagnosis, fewer steroids, and regular monitoring of sugar levels.
Various treatment options are available for brain complications.
As per best Neurologist in India strokes should be treated as usual. Unfortunately, a majority of hospital beds are being occupied by Covid patients at this time. As a result, there are not enough ICUs to treat stroke patients. A stroke has to be treated within a few hours and so treatment during that time was challenging. It is therefore important to take the patient to a stroke-ready hospital.
In order to treat GB syndrome, either plasmapheresis (a method of drawing blood, separating it into plasma and cells, and then transfusing the cells back into the body) or immunoglobulin are needed. The treatments are expensive, but they are extremely effective.
Patients with cranial nerve palsies usually receive a short course of steroids. Their recovery is usually quite good.
Neuropsychological patients require counselling and drug therapy in addition to a lot of attention. A majority of people overcome this disorder after a period of time. It may take a few weeks to months to fully recover.
When does the black fungus begin to affect the brain?
The black fungus originates in the sinuses around the nose (the nasal sinuses). Once the disease breaks into the eyeball, its effects reach the brain’s arteries. When the arteries are blocked, the brain gets damaged, causing the patient to have a poor response to treatment. Dr. Rohit Gupta, the best Neurologist in India says most patients in such cases do not survive the treatment, as the results are very poor. Surgery is not an option in most cases like these.
Early diagnosis, as well as treatment in the early stages, is crucial to a successful outcome. This happens before the eye and the blood vessels of the brain are affected. In order to treat mucormycosis, large chunks of damaged bones must be removed. It is possible that the palate is involved in some cases. In these cases, the palate is removed and dead tissue is removed. As a result, the drug can penetrate into the viable tissue and stop the growth of the fungus.
Moreover, the sugar levels need to be controlled properly and lowered with insulin and intravenous fluids. It is important to treat the area’s acidosis as well. As a result of diabetes and renal failure, an acidosis occurs which leads to the growth of fungus. Dr. Rohit Gupta is the best Neurologist in India with vast experience of over 14 years in clinical neurology.