Nature.com recently published a study (22/12/23) which measured biomarkers of brain injury, inflammation, and autoantibodies in COVID-19 patients to understand neurological complications during acute illness and recovery. 203 hospitalized patients were included, with acute and convalescent serum samples analyzed.
Compared to uninfected controls, markers of astrocyte, neuronal, and axonal injury were elevated in COVID-19 patients, especially those with neurological complications like altered consciousness. Inflammatory mediators also associated with neurological symptoms.
Autoantibodies were more common in COVID-19 patients versus controls, and some autoantibodies like anti-MYL7 and anti-UCHL1 occurred more frequently with altered consciousness.
In convalescent patients with prior neurological complications, brain injury biomarkers remained elevated despite attenuation of inflammation and autoantibodies. This suggests ongoing neuroglial injury.
In summary, neurological COVID-19 complications correlate with evidence of acute neuroglial injury and dysregulated inflammation and autoimmunity. Elevated brain injury biomarkers persist after the acute phase in patients with prior neurological involvement.
You can read the full study here.