SCIENTISTS have found reason to connect a recent "epidemic" in brain damage to Covid-19.
Experts have detected an increase in life-threatening inflammation of the brain which can be linked to the deadly virus that has swept across the world over the past six months.
According to the Irish Independent, they have described a fourfold increase since the start of the crisis in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) - a rare and occasionally fatal complication usually found in children.
Some of the patients, all of whom had confirmed or suspected Covid-19, were not otherwise suffering serious respiratory symptoms.
A new study looking into the possible link identified 43 suspected or confirmed coronavirus sufferers aged between 16 and 85 who were treated at the specialist unit in University College Hospital in London.
Researchers identified 10 cases of transient encephalopathies - a temporary brain dysfunction - with delirium, which corresponds with other studies finding evidence of delirium with agitation.
There were also 12 cases of brain-inflammation, eight cases of strokes, and eight others with nerve damage, mainly Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Nine of the 12 cases of those with brain inflammation conditions were diagnosed with ADEM, which is known to be triggered by viral infections.
"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage Covid-19 can cause," said Dr Ross Paterson
"Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes. People recovering from the virus should seek professional health advice if they experience neurological symptoms," he added.