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Headache: The most frequent Neurological manifestations of COVID-19

Headache: The most frequent Neurological manifestations of COVID-19

  • April 27, 2021

There are some studies and reviews highlighting that the most common neurological symptom is a headache. It is often accompanied by a high fever. Not to surprise headache can occasionally be seen alone as the first sign of the underlying disease.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by novel coronavirus. This is a common type of virus that affects both animals and humans.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with comorbidities like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

Brief about Coronavirus:

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face. 

Mechanism of headache in COVID 19:

  • The underlying mechanisms of headache related to COVID-19 are not clear till date.
  • The possibility of a direct invasion of trigeminal nerve endings in the nasal or oral cavity by the virus seems one of the most reasonable mechanisms underlying headache according to recent study.
  • Headache might be caused by the release of cytokines, endothelial damage and macrophage activation; or
  • It could be related to the inflammation of lymphatic structures, as the lymphatic organs located in the nasopharynx and oropharynx.

Trigger factors for headache?

Following are various identified trigger factors for headache.

  • Stress
  • Social isolation
  • COVID infection itself
  • Wearing mask
  • Drugs

With time it has been observed that headache is associated with a broad spectrum of neurological involvement. Following are the reported clinical features as on date in individual patients.

  1. Disturbances of taste
  2. Disturbances of smell
  3. Headache
  4. Stroke
  5. Bilateral lower limb weakness and numbness or heaviness
  6. Difficulty while walking, feeling of falls
  7. Confusion
  8. Seizure
  9. Disorientation
  10. Hallucination
  11. Encephalitis or encephalopathy
  12. GBS (Guillain barre syndrome)

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