COVID-19 infection linked to stroke in healthy young people, says Study

Updated: Jun 07, 2020, 08:59 IST | IANS | Mumbai

The researchers speculate that the virus may be interfering with this receptor's normal function, which controls blood flow in the brain, in addition to using it as an entry point to the cell

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

Researchers have revealed that young and otherwise healthy patients with Covid-19 may have an increased risk of stroke even if they are not showing any symptoms of the disease.

For the findings, published in the journal Neurosurgery, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in the US analysed patients having suffered a stroke from March 20 until April 10 at their institutions. The strokes they observed were unlike what they usually see."We were seeing patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s with massive strokes, the kind that we typically see in patients in their 70s and 80s," said study researcher Pascal Jabbour from Thomas Jefferson University.

According to the researchers, young people who may not know they have the coronavirus, are developing clots that cause a major stroke. For the results, the researchers examined 14 patients who had come into their Neurointerventional room for stroke. Eight patients were male, six were female, 50 per cent did not know they had COVID-19, while the remainder were already being treated for other symptoms of the disease when they had a stroke.

The findings also showed that patients with signs of stroke were delaying coming to the hospital for fear of getting infected with Covid-19.

The study revealed that the mortality rate in these Covid-19 stroke patients is 42.8 per cent. The typical mortality from stroke is around five to 10 per cent. The data showed that 42 per cent of the stroke coronavirus positive patients studied were under the age of 50. The incidence of coronavirus in the stroke population was 31.5 per cent, according to this sample of patients.

Patients observed had a stroke in large vessels, in both hemispheres of the brain, and in both arteries and veins of the brain - all of these observations are unusual in stroke patients. The researchers speculate that the virus may be interfering with this receptor's normal function, which controls blood flow in the brain, in addition to using it as an entry point to the cell.

Another possibility is that the inflammation of the blood vessels causing vasculitis with injury to the cells lining the lumen of the vessel called the endothelium and causing micro thrombosis in small vessels. "Stroke is occurring in people who don't know they have Covid-19, as well as those who feel sick from their infections. We need to be vigilant and respond quickly to signs of stroke," the authors wrote.

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