Covid-19 causes an increase in strokes
The virus causes an increase in strokes in affected patients. Several hypotheses are put forward.
Numerous studies have shown that Covid-19 also spreads to the brain and is the cause of neurological damage. Among the most commonly experienced symptoms are fatigue, fever, shortness of breath. But there are also neurological symptoms: almost half of the patients affected by Covid-19 would present headaches, delirium or "mental fog". And a recent study showed that the elderly would be particularly affected by this mental confusion.
Since the pandemic, doctors have found that people are at higher risk for stroke. Every year, nearly 30,000 people die from a stroke. However, the epidemic has made things worse.
Jean-Philippe Neau, the head of the department of neurology at the University Hospital of Poitiers, estimates that it is even multiplied by five! One of the explanations put forward is that there has been a decrease in stroke treatment because patients have called less to the emergency room. The infection increases the severity of strokes "because they are late to the hospital for fear of coming during this time of the epidemic, and also because the prognosis is necessarily worse when a stroke occurs in patients in intensive care in a context of respiratory failure or multiviral failure, "explained Dr. Bertrand Lapergue, head of the neurology department at the Foch de Suresnes hospital during an online conference organized by the French Society of Neurology (SFN) last May.
But that is not the only explanation. The virus causes changes in brain cells, with inflammation and "hypercoagulability", increasing the risk of clot formation. A finding confirmed by a new study by American researchers, published in the journal Stroke.
Scientists at the University of California have made a 3D printed model of the cerebral arteries. They injected him with a liquid with a protein similar to that associated with the coronavirus. They have shown an interaction with cells lining blood vessels, which may explain the increased incidence of stroke seen in Covid-19 patients. The team will continue their research to better understand the long-term effects of the virus on blood vessels in the brain.
Pandemic or not, we remind you that stroke is an absolute emergency. It is caused by the sudden stoppage of blood circulation within the brain, following the blockage of an artery by a clot. Frozen face, inert arm, turbulent speech. Faced with these main signs of stroke, the bet is vital. The faster you intervene, the more the sequelae can be limited.