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Neurological manifestations in COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis Main Image

Neurological manifestations in COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Mon 02 Nov 2020

A review into the research on neurological manifestations of coronavirus to date


Following the outbreak of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), there is strong evidence of neurological involvement in these patients. We aimed to determine the clinical characteristics of neurological manifestations in COVID-19.


A systematic review of studies reporting neurological manifestations published between 1 December, 2019 and 11 May, 2020 was performed. Studies were grouped based on neurological manifestation. Pooled analyses of individual patient’s clinical characteristics and olfactory and gustatory dysfunction prevalence were performed.


Of 486 studies identified, 48 were included. 70 patients with 73 neurological manifestations were reported. 39 (53.4%) patients had stroke, 18 (24.7%) had Guillain-Barré syndrome and variants, 11 (15.1%) had meningitis, encephalitis, encephalopathy, or myelitis, and five (6.8%) had seizures. They had a mean age of 61.9 ± 17.7 years (60.6% male). Neurological disease occurred 8.1 ± 6.8 days from initial symptoms. Average mortality rate was 17.8%. Stroke has a mortality rate of 25.6%. Olfactory and gustatory dysfunction occurred in 59.9% and 57.5%, respectively.


Stroke is the most frequently reported neurological manifestation in COVID-19 and has the highest mortality rate. Neurological manifestations tend to develop one to two weeks after the onset of respiratory disease. There is significant morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 neurological manifestations.


Reference: Tzy Harn Chua, Zheyu Xu & Nicolas Kon Kam King (2020). Neurological manifestations in COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Brain Injury, 34(12), 1549 - 1568. 


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