COVID-19 study adds new potential early symptom to watch out for

A scientific research review published this week tested the possibility that delirium could be an early symptom of COVID-19, when combined with other early symptoms. Researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) explored the development of delirium in COVID-19 patients in the days before manifestation of the most common symptoms: coughing and breathing difficulties.

It's important to note that the study highlighted the ties between the loss of senses of smell and taste, and headaches, and delirium in the days prior to the more common signs of COVID-19 infection.

UOC Cognitive NeuroLab researchers Diego Redolar Ripoll and and Javier Correa conducted their study this year as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (leading to COVID-19) took hold in our still-active 2020 global pandemic. The study authored by Ripoll and Correa and published this week explored research done on the effects COVID-19 has on the central nervous system. Their hypothesis is that COVID-19 has the potential to produce nerocognitive alterations of several sorts.

"The main hypotheses which explain how the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 affects the brain point to three possible causes: hypoxia or neuronal oxygen deficiency, inflammation of brain tissue due to cytokine storm and the fact that the virus has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to directly invade the brain," said Correa in commentary this week on the study. Delirium, headaches, and psychotic episodes can result from the the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 infection process.

"Delirium is a state of confusion in which the person feels out of touch with reality, as if they are dreaming," said UOC researcher Javier Correa, one of several researchers on the project for this study. Per Correa, "we need to be on the alert, particularly in an epidemiological situation like this, because an individual presenting certain signs of confusion may be an indication of infection."

The study takes into account "the existing evidence on the mechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection leading to central nervous system manifestations in general, delirium in particular." With what they've collected, Ripoll and Correa presented the possibility that "the direct effects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection on the human CNS and its related cognitive and neuropsychiatric complications" could have guiding importance for both the prevention and the treatment of COVID-19.

For more information on this study, take a peek at Delirium in Severe Acute

Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 Infection: A Point of View as authored by Javier C Vázquez and Diego Redolar-Ripoll. This research was published on September 7, 2020, with code DOI: 10.24966/CIIT-8844/1000039 and can be found in the Journal of Clinical Immunology and Immunotherapy.