Purpose of review
Acute central and peripheral nervous system injury may occur in association with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus. This review will assist readers to recognize neurologic manifestations associated with COVID-19 including common and life-threatening symptoms and diagnostic testing. We will also review current recommendations for treatment of neurologic injury associated with COVID-19 infection in children.
Data from systematic reviews and prospectively collected cohorts of children with COVID-19 are beginning to characterize the breadth of neurologic manifestations associated with COVID-19 in the acute infectious and postinfectious periods. Among hospitalized children in particular, neurologic symptoms are common. Life threatening conditions including encephalitis, myelitis, stroke, and demyelinating syndromes have been reported. Within the pediatric population, age, and preexisting neurologic conditions appear to be important factors in determining likely phenotypes. Treatment at this time is based on careful neuromonitoring, supportive care, and neuromodulatory therapies as indicated.
Neurologic symptoms are common in children with COVID-19 and may be life threatening. The pathophysiology, therapeutic options, and long-term outcomes from COVID-19 associated neurologic injury are currently being investigated.