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In some COVID-19 patients, the first symptom is a stroke rather than a cough

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Toronto-In some COVID-19 patients, the first sign that the virus attacks the system is not in the form of coughing or dyspnea, but in stroke, which is much more deadly, according to a new study.

Scientists are learning more about the effects of COVID-19 on the body, and one of the more annoying and long-lasting concerns is the link to stroke.

Published in Scientific journal Neurology On Tuesday, we collected data on 160 stroke patients with COVID-19, 29 of whom were under the age of 50.

For these young patients, 45% had no risk factors for COVID-19, and in 50% of cases involving young patients, having a stroke was the first symptom of COVID-19.

This means that half of the young COVID-19 patients in the study showed zero COVID-19 symptoms before the onset of stroke.

“They are perfectly healthy people who develop COVID-19 and have strokes,” Dr. Luciano Sposato, one of the researchers at Western University, told CTV News. “That was amazing.”

The study warns doctors and patients that strokes are more common than they seem during this pandemic.

“When you see a person with a stroke, the first thing to keep in mind is that you are at a very high risk of developing COVID-19,” Sposato said. He added that even in the absence of symptoms, stroke patients with COVID-19 have a much higher risk of death than stroke patients without COVID-19 and need to be tested.

Mortality in stroke patients without COVID-19 in the ICU is 15-30%, whereas up to 45% of stroke patients in the ICU with COVID-19 do not survive.

Mortality was even higher when researchers looked at other factors.

The highest-risk group in this study was the group with at least one serious comorbidity (meaning that there were other risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes) and severe COVID-19 symptoms. did.

The mortality rate for stroke patients in this group was 59%.

Compared to similar respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 was much more associated with stroke.

Studies show that patients with COVID-19 are 10 times more likely to develop a stroke than patients with influenza and 2 times more likely than patients with SARS.

Scientists believe that COVID-19-related strokes are not the usual type.

In these cases, scientists believe that the virus enters some of the cells that line the blood vessels, causing inflammation and potentially forming blood clots in the lungs, legs, or heart.

“For example, looking at the blood clots in the pulmonary arteries, there is something interesting about the other comorbidities that these patients have. [they] Based on historical data from Canada, patients with stroke and COVID-19 are 14 times more likely than those without signs of COVID-19, “Sposato said.

These blood clots can even move to the brain. This causes an ischemic stroke, and the blockage of arteries blocks blood flow to the brain.

In this study, the number of patients who developed large clots, especially in the arteries that supply blood to the brain, was much higher than in previous studies of ischemic stroke patients without COVID-19, 49% 29% COVID. -19 patient cents without.

Surviving a stroke can also have long-term effects on the body. Successful people can have problems when talking or walking.

“Stroke is a major cause of disability in North America, especially anything that can increase the likelihood of stroke in the younger generation. [is] Dr. Luciana Katanies, a physician who leads the hyperacute stroke service at Hamilton Health Sciences, told CTV News.

Standard stroke treatments and anticoagulants seem to help these patients. However, prompt medical care is important.

Signs of stroke warning are sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty speaking, blindness, and difficulty walking.

“If you have stroke symptoms [please] Dr. Alexandra Picla, a stroke neurologist at the Toronto Western Hospital, told CTV News.

The findings highlight the wide range of COVID-19 reach in the body and how it affects other parts of human health, sometimes with long-term results.

“We haven’t ended the disease and we’re starting to have problems not only in the lungs, but also in the brain and heart,” said Sposato.

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