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More than half of Spanish coronavirus patients suffering from neurological problems: research

More than half of Spanish coronavirus patients suffering from neurological problems: research
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More than half of patients in Spain suffering from the coronavirus have reported neurological symptoms including the loss of taste or sense of smell, according to a new study.

The study, published in early June in the scientific journal Neurology, found that 57 percent of COVID-19 patients in two Spanish hospitals reported at least one neurological symptom, ranging from milder symptoms such as headaches and dizziness to more severe symptoms including psychosis, insomnia and anxiety.

“Some of the symptoms, like myalgia, insomnia and headaches, had not been observed in previous studies,” study co-author Tomás Segura, chief of neurology at University Hospital of Albacete, told the news service El Pais.

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Spain was one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe during the early months of the pandemic.

The country has more cases than Italy, once a hot spot for the virus on the European continent. Spain has registered more than 272,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with more than 28,000 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. 

The study comes as the country last week tightened restrictions just one month after lockdown orders were lifted due to new outbreaks. 

Neurological complications accounted for 4.1 percent of deceased patients involved in the study, according to its abstract, suggesting that mitigating the more severe neurological symptoms could limit the number of deaths from COVID-19 around the world.

"In our series, more than half of patients presented some form of neurological symptom," the researchers wrote.

"Clinicians need to maintain close neurological surveillance for prompt recognition of these complications. The investigation of the mechanisms and emerging consequences of SARS-CoV-2 neurological involvement require further studies."

A separate study conducted by researchers at the University College London also suggested that COVID-19 was linked to a host of neurological symptoms including strokes and inflammation in the brain.