A group of Swiss researchers investigated the changes seen in people with neurological symptoms from Covid. The study involved 40 patients who underwent a lumbar puncture, MRI, CSF proteomics, and plasma sampling.[ref] The lumbar puncture gives insight into what is happening in the spinal fluid and the brain. This seems to be an extensive investigation of what is happening in people with neuro-Covid.
The spinal fluid showed that white blood cells were not elevated. According to the authors, this “signified CNS inflammatory controls.”
The researchers divided up the study participants into three ‘classes’ depending on the severity of their neurological symptoms.
Class I had absent or mild neurological symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and loss of smell/taste.
Class II patients had moderate neurological symptoms, including fatigue and peripheral neuropathy.
The patients in class III had the most severe symptoms, such as a covid-19 induced stroke, seizures, coma, encephalopathy, and intracranial hemorrhage. They were also older, with an average age of 62.
In the class III patients, the researchers found increased IgG / IgA against self- and non-self antigens. Gut-barrier dysfunction was also found in the severe patients. Additionally, blood-brain barrier impairment was thought to have occurred. Higher inflammatory cytokine levels were found in the CSF of these patients. Note that several of the class III patients passed away. This group had an age range of 22 – 98.
An interesting finding in all patients was higher lactate levels.
Etter, Manina M., et al. “Severe Neuro-COVID Is Associated with Peripheral Immune Signatures, Autoimmunity and Neurodegeneration: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study.” Nature Communications, vol. 13, Nov. 2022, p. 6777. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-34068-0.