Neurological consequences of COVID-19: What have we learned and where do we go from here?

Abbas Jarrahi, Meenakshi Ahluwalia, Hesam Khodadadi, Evila Da Silva Lopes Salles, Ravindra Kolhe, David C. Hess, Fernando Vale, Manish Kumar, Babak Baban, Kumar Vaibhav, Krishnan M. Dhandapani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented worldwide health crisis. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a highly infectious pathogen that is genetically similar to SARS-CoV. Similar to other recent coronavirus outbreaks, including SARS and MERS, SARS-CoV-2 infected patients typically present with fever, dry cough, fatigue, and lower respiratory system dysfunction, including high rates of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, a rapidly accumulating set of clinical studies revealed atypical symptoms of COVID-19 that involve neurological signs, including headaches, anosmia, nausea, dysgeusia, damage to respiratory centers, and cerebral infarction. These unexpected findings may provide important clues regarding the pathological sequela of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, no efficacious therapies or vaccines are currently available, complicating the clinical management of COVID-19 patients and emphasizing the public health need for controlled, hypothesis-driven experimental studies to provide a framework for therapeutic development. In this mini-review, we summarize the current body of literature regarding the central nervous system (CNS) effects of SARS-CoV-2 and discuss several potential targets for therapeutic development to reduce neurological consequences in COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number286
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 30 2020


  • ARDS
  • Coagulopathy
  • Coronavirus
  • Cytokine storm
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurotropism
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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