But he is not the only one with such problems. According to Dr J D Mukherji, head, neurology department, Max Healthcare, there are at least one to two similar cases of post-Covid neurological complications every day. “In the last one month, I have seen at least 20 cases of brain fog (confusion, inability to focus) in Covid-recovered patients. We have also come across eight cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in which the immune system attacks the nerves and one of facial palsy or weakness of the facial muscles,” Mukherji said.
While most patients recover with symptomatic treatment, Dr Mukherji added, those with stroke and brain inflammation require prolonged treatment and appropriate drugs. “A 32-year-old girl who presented with Covid infection was administered steroids. She developed diabetes and ketoacidosis and later mucormycosis. She then had a large brain stroke that required surgical decompression, ventilation and supportive therapy. Despite this, she died after a prolonged stay and multiple complications,” he disclosed.
A recent study in The Lancet revealed that 33% post-Covid patients continued to have neuropsychiatric aliments. These included loss of taste, smell, confusion, inability to focus and lack of concentration. Some others developed delirium, arterial and venous strokes and meningoencephalitis.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder-director, Ujala Cygnus group of hospitals, said brain fog was the most common neurological symptom in recovered patients. “They come with complaints about an inability to concentrate or remember things. Many also have post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety issues. Another very common symptom is light-headedness and blackouts,” Bajaj said, adding that all cases of light-headedness or blackouts shouldn’t be labelled as being of neurological origin because these can also be due to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, where there is sudden tachycardia and lowering of blood pressure when the patient changes body position or stands up.
“In my personal clinical practice, I’m seeing five to seven post-Covid patients with neurological symptoms almost every day,” revealed Bajaj. “And they vary in age from 30 years to 75 years. However, there are very few children, which is a good sign that youngsters don’t have a lot of post-Covid complications.”
Dr Vinit Suri, senior neurosciences consultant, Apollo Hospitals, and Dr Anurag Saxena, head, neurosurgery division, Manipal Hospital, both confirmed the trend. Another doctor said, “Covid-recovered patients should watch out for symptoms such as new focal deficits like sudden onset of vertigo, sudden or significant loss in memory and new onset of stroke. Timely intervention can help in better recovery.”