Coronavirus: Commonly discovered neurological complaints in COVID-19

COVID-19: More neurological symptoms than previously thought

The main symptoms of COVID-19 disease include dry cough and fever. In addition, neurological complaints such as taste and smell disorders have also been reported. Two recent studies evaluating data from Wuhan sufferers have now shown that neurological complaints and complications associated with COVID-19 occur more frequently than previously thought.

International researchers report that around every third SARS-CoV-2 infection is accompanied by neurological symptoms. In addition, a serious neurological complication in the form of hypoxic encephalopathy was found in every fifth Covid-19 death examined. The study results were published in the renowned specialist journal "The BMJ" and on the medical preprint server "medRxiv".

Brain damage in every fifth COVID-19 death

A recently published study analyzed a cohort of 799 COVID-19 patients from Tongji Hospital in Wuhan. The aim of the investigation was to delineate the clinical characteristics of fatally ended Covid-19 cases. 113 of the people in the cohort died of COVID-19. The analysis showed, among other things, that every fifth death was also diagnosed with hypoxic encephalopathy (brain damage).

Neurological complaints in viral infections are not uncommon

The German medical report reports that it is not uncommon for viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, to also trigger neurological complaints. Thus, even with infections with other circulating coronaviruses, neurological symptoms were not uncommon. Some studies indicate that pathogens such as SARS and MERS also affect the brain. For the new corona virus SARS-CoV-2, however, this has so far not been proven.

Neurological symptoms in COVID-19

Many patients with COVID-19 report olfactory disorders and changes in taste. Now, a Chinese research team from Huazhong University (Wuhan) reports in another study that neurological symptoms can be a direct or indirect result of an infection. The researchers believe it very likely that COVID-19 will affect the central nervous system.

What neurological complaints did you experience?

The team led by research leader Huijuan Jin used medical records from 214 COVID-19 patients to show that every third sick person reports neurological symptoms. According to this, 16.8 percent of those affected suffered from dizziness, 13.1 percent from headaches, 5.6 percent from taste disorders and 5.1 percent from smell disorders.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Tao Chen, Di Wu, Huilong Chen, et al .: Clinical characteristics of 113 deceased patients with coronavirus disease 2019: retrospective study; in: The BMJ, 2020,
  • Ling Mao, Mengdie Wang, Shanghai Chen, et al .: Neurological Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective case series study; in: medRxiv, 2020,
  • Ă„rzteblatt: Reports on neurological complications in COVID-19 (published: 02.04.2020),

Video: Scientists warn brain damage may be linked to COVID-19 (January 2022).