Neurological and Neuropsychological Changes Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: New Observations, New Mechanisms

Muhammad Ali Haidar, Hussam Jourdi, Zeinab Haj Hassan, Ohanes Ashekyan, Manal Fardoun, Zena Wehbe, Dina Maaliki, Maya Wehbe, Stefania Mondello, Samar Abdelhady, Shima Shahjouei, Maya Bizri, Yehia Mechref, Mark S. Gold, Ghassan Dbaibo, Hassan Zaraket, Ali H. Eid, Firas Kobeissy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2 infects cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a ubiquitous receptor that interacts with the virus’ surface S glycoprotein. Recent reports show that the virus affects the central nervous system (CNS) with symptoms and complications that include dizziness, altered consciousness, encephalitis, and even stroke. These can immerge as indirect immune effects due to increased cytokine production or via direct viral entry into brain tissue. The latter is possible through neuronal access via the olfactory bulb, hematogenous access through immune cells or directly across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and through the brain’s circumventricular organs characterized by their extensive and highly permeable capillaries. Last, the COVID-19 pandemic increases stress, depression, and anxiety within infected individuals, those in isolation, and high-risk populations like children, the elderly, and health workers. This review surveys the recent updates of CNS manifestations post SARS-CoV-2 infection along with possible mechanisms that lead to them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-571
Number of pages20
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • ARDS
  • COVID-19
  • SARS
  • angiotensin
  • autoantibodies
  • encephalitis
  • inflammation
  • neurodegeneration
  • pandemic
  • stroke
  • viral infection


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