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More and More COVID Patients Report Neurological Issues

April 09, 2021

More and more patients are seeking care for a wide variety of neurologic conditions stemming from COVID-19 infection.

Mark Alberts, MD, chief of neurology at Hartford Hospital, said people who came down with severe cases of the virus can experience lingering effects on their brains starting days or weeks after the infection.

“More and more studies in the United States and the world are finding an association between COVID-19 and a range of neurologic problems,” he confirmed.

Those can include:

  • Headaches
  • Strokes
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble with thinking and memory
  • Trouble walking and talking
  • Difficulty sleeping

“We’re seeing this in more and more of our patients,” he said, adding that the severity of the symptoms varies from one person to another. “But, in general, the pattern we’re seeing is that symptoms develop a number of days or weeks after a severe COVID infection and then they may stabilize for a while. Then, fortunately, in the vast majority of folks, the symptoms gradually get better over a number of weeks.

“This is the good news – most folks get better on their own.”

In the meantime, Dr. Alberts suggested people suffering from lingering effects of the disease, a situation earning them the moniker “long haulers,” seek help at the Hartford HealthCare COVID Recovery Center. The system infused the Center with a breadth of expertise in cardiology, pulmonology, rehabilitation medicine, neurology and psychiatry.

“We’re prepared to help people deal with these post-COVID symptoms as they develop,” he said.

In addition, studies are showing that long haulers can benefit from being vaccinated, Dr. Alberts said.

“We would recommend everybody, as appropriate, receive the vaccine because that would prevent another infection if they had a mild case to begin with. It’s very important that folks work with their primary care provider,” he explained.

For more information on the COVID Recovery Center, go to https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/coronavirus/covid-recovery-center.