Epilepsy and COVID 2021

Ignacio Valencia, Anne T. Berg, Lawrence J. Hirsch, Maria Raquel Lopez, Kara Melmed, Jillian L. Rosengard, William O. Tatum, Barbara C. Jobst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has infected over 400 million people worldwide. Although COVID-19 causes predominantly respiratory symptoms, it can affect other organs including the brain, producing neurological symptoms. People with epilepsy (PWE) have been particularly impacted during the pandemic with decreased access to care, increased stress, and worsening seizures in up to 22% of them probably due to multiple factors. COVID-19 vaccines were produced in a record short time and have yielded outstanding protection with very rare serious side effects. Studies have found that COVID-19 vaccination does not increase seizures in the majority of PWE. COVID-19 does not produce a pathognomonic EEG or seizure phenotype, but rather 1 that can be seen in other types of encephalopathy. COVID-19 infection and its complications can lead to seizures, status epilepticus and post-COVID inflammatory syndrome with potential multi-organ damage in people without pre-existing epilepsy. The lack of access to care during the pandemic has forced patients and doctors to rapidly implement telemedicine. The use of phone videos and smart telemedicine are helping to treat patients during this pandemic and are becoming standard of care. Investment in infrastructure is important to make sure patients can have access to care even during a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEpilepsy Currents
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID
  • epilepsy
  • seizures
  • telemedicine
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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