Bodily Medication Academy Points Steerage on Lengthy COVID Neurologic Signs

Bodily Medication Academy Points Steerage on Lengthy COVID Neurologic Signs

Clinicians want to guage new or worsening neurologic signs of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 an infection (PASC) and deal with or refer them to specialists when applicable, in accordance with new steering from the American Academy of Bodily Medication & Rehabilitation (AAPM&R).

Neurologic signs associated to PASC — generally generally known as lengthy COVID — embrace headache, weak spot, muscular numbness, ache, tremors, and palsy, in accordance with Leslie Rydberg, MD, of the Northwestern College Feinberg College of Medication and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, and Sarah Sampsel, MPH, of SL Sampsel Consulting in Albuquerque, and co-authors.

Clinicians ought to pursue applicable diagnostic workup and collaborate with multidisciplinary medical groups to handle particular neurologic signs for lengthy COVID sufferers, whereas aiming to scale back polypharmacy and avoiding a fast escalation of actions which may set off symptom worsening, the authors stated in PM&R.

“What we all know is that many individuals with delicate or average COVID infections find yourself with neurologic sequelae that lasts longer than 4 weeks, and we see a really large number of neurologic signs,” Rydberg stated in a press briefing. “Whether or not these sufferers have been hospitalized or not, they proceed to have these neurologic signs which might be persistent and prevalent.”

In collaboration with main care suppliers or applicable specialists, clinicians additionally ought to look to deal with underlying medical circumstances — together with psychiatric, ache, renal, endocrine, cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory, and different circumstances — which can be contributing to neurologic signs, the steering authors wrote.

For sufferers with neurologic sequelae affecting gait, mobility, cognitive standing, or actions of each day dwelling, referrals to bodily drugs and rehabilitation physicians or different well being professionals together with bodily therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and social employees, could assist enhance operate and independence, they added.

The assertion was developed by AAPM&R’s PASC Collaborative, a multidisciplinary group of physicians, clinicians, and affected person advocates. The authors outlined purple flags clinicians ought to establish and tackle with rapid interventions, together with:

  • Sudden or progressive weak spot or sensory modifications
  • Unexplained higher motor neuron indicators within the setting of weak spot
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence or retention
  • Syncope or transient lack of consciousness
  • Acute neuropsychiatric signs or psychosis
  • Positional headache, headache related to focal neurologic indicators, or rapid-onset “thunderclap” headache
  • Cranial nerve abnormalities on bodily examination

Many of those neurologic purple flags could require a referral to the emergency division versus neurology or cardiology, relying on the time course and urgency, Rydberg and colleagues emphasised.

Rydberg additionally stated it is necessary to be taught whether or not sufferers are experiencing different signs, comparable to sleep points, cardiopulmonary signs, temper points, or practical limitations.

“Once we’re speaking about individuals who have neurologic sequelae of lengthy COVID, it is so necessary to essentially step again and take an enormous image historical past and actually take into consideration all of the issues which might be affecting these sufferers,” Rydberg stated. “Neurologic signs larger than 4 weeks ought to completely be investigated.”

“A very powerful factor is de facto highlighting that neurologic sequelae are frequent in lengthy COVID, and it is actually one thing that is an ongoing downside that we’d like to concentrate on, that we have to be able to deal with, [and] that we have to have the sources to deal with,” she added.

The AAPM&R has launched a number of consensus steering statements on lengthy COVID, together with papers on fatigue, cardiovascular points, autonomic dysfunction, and pediatric lengthy COVID, and can publish one on lengthy COVID psychological well being signs subsequent.

“For physicians who will not be seeing quite a lot of [long] COVID… having these statements actually is a superb useful resource the place all the info and all the data is put into one place, and hopefully, it can give them some big-picture concepts of the right way to handle this group,” Rydberg stated.

The group is also making ready on a grasp steering assertion for the complete vary of recognized lengthy COVID signs, stated co-author Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, of the College of Texas Well being Science Middle at San Antonio.

“Sufferers do not are available in with only one kind of symptom,” she stated. “It will cross all of the completely different statements which have come out with signs being in pulmonary, cardiac, neurologic, [and] cognitive.”

The most effective strategy could also be to focus first on these signs most affecting a affected person’s high quality of life, utilizing the related steering assertion earlier than transferring on to lesser signs, Verduzco-Gutierrez famous.

“We perceive there’s quite a lot of pressures for clinicians to see a affected person in a brief time frame, so perhaps they give attention to one factor,” she stated. “Okay, this week we’ll give attention to the neurologic and work via these signs, and perhaps the subsequent go to you may come again and we’ll discuss your cardiac signs.”

  • Bodily Medication Academy Points Steerage on Lengthy COVID Neurologic Signs

    Michael DePeau-Wilson is a reporter on MedPage Right this moment’s enterprise & investigative staff. He covers psychiatry, lengthy covid, and infectious illnesses, amongst different related U.S. medical information. Follow


The work of the writing committees is supported completely by the American Academy of Bodily Medication and Rehabilitation with out business help.

Rydberg had no disclosures. Sampsel is below contract to AAPM&R to help the writing and submission of every PASC Collaborative consensus steering assertion. Verduzco-Gutierrez and different authors reported receiving grants, contracts, or honoraria from numerous funding sources, some paid to their establishments and a few private reimbursement for actions associated to PASC and broader areas of analysis and experience.

Major Supply


Supply Reference: Melamed E, et al “Multidisciplinary collaborative consensus steering assertion on the evaluation and therapy of neurologic sequelae inpatients with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 an infection (PASC)” PM&R 2023; DOI:10.1002/pmrj.12976.