Covid-19 spawns second ‘epidemic’ of terrifying brain disease

World

Covid-19 spawns second ‘epidemic’ of terrifying brain disease

The often fatal complication has increased fourfold since pandemic began – just as it did after the Spanish flu

Henry Bodkin

Scientists have raised the prospect of a brain damage “epidemic” after detecting an increase in life-threatening inflammation linked to coronavirus.

Experts at University College London’s Institute of Neurology have described a fourfold increase since the start of the crisis in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) – a rare and sometimes fatal complication normally found in children.

Some of the patients, all of whom had confirmed or suspected Covid-19, were not otherwise suffering serious respiratory symptoms. Writing in the journal Brain, the scientists called for systematic surveillance of complications as a result of the virus...

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