Stroke sufferers with COVID-19 left with a more prominent disability, says research

Research has found that coronavirus patients, who suffer from a stroke, can be left with a more prominent disability, according to the University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospital (UCLH).

However, there is no data to determine how long these excess disabilities might last.

According to the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, strokes that are onset by COVID-19 are “associated with more than double the mortality rate of other stroke patients.”

These recent findings develop from previous research, led by the UCL, which suggest that the coronavirus could enhance the risk of stroke in some people, and some can encounter neurological symptoms whilst carrying the virus.

UCL and UCLH researchers examined evidence from 86 sufferers of stroke, in England and Scotland, who had COVID-19 between March and July 2020, to compare them with 1,384 cases of stroke sufferers who did not have any evidence of COVID-19, during the same period.

Evidence of coronavirus, in these participants, was determined by a positive test within four days of admission.

COVID-19 patients who suffered ischaemic strokes were approximately twice as likely to have been caused by the blockage of more than one large blood vessel in the brain, which implies the patient has abnormal blood clotting, according to the research.

Additionally, COVID-19 associated strokes were discovered to be more severe due to their average stroke severity (NIHSS) score of eight.

Professor David Werring, Co-author of the research’s findings and Consultant to UCLH, states that their “findings support testing people for COVID-19 if they come into the hospital with a stroke, and further research is needed to determine whether treatment should differ depending on this test result.”

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