Case series/case reports (Indigo)
Read on for our highlighted selection of Covid-related case series or case reports from the scientific press for January 2023:
- COVID-19 vaccination-related exacerbation of seizures in persons with epilepsy
- Functional disorders as a common motor manifestation of COVID-19 infection or vaccination
COVID-19 vaccination-related exacerbation of seizures in persons with epilepsy
Although vaccines are generally safe in persons with epilepsy (PWE), seizures can be associated with vaccination, including COVID-19. This study assessed the occurrence of COVID-19 vaccination-related seizure exacerbations in PWE. Adult PWE who had received a COVID-19 vaccine were consecutively recruited at a tertiary epilepsy clinic between June 2021 and April 2022. Patient demographics, including epilepsy history, vaccination details, and reported adverse effects were recorded. Seizure exacerbation, defined as occurring within one week of vaccination, was assessed.
Five hundred and thirty PWE received the COVID-19 vaccine. 75 % received the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine as their initial dose. Most patients (72 %) were taking ≥ 2 antiseizure medications (ASM) and had focal epilepsy (73 %). One-third were 12 months seizure free at their first vaccination. 13 patients (2.5 %) reported a seizure exacerbation following their first vaccination, three of whom required admission. None were seizure-free at baseline. Six of these patients (46 %) had a further exacerbation of seizures with their second vaccine. An additional four patients reported increased seizures only with the second vaccine dose. The authors concluded that seizure exacerbations are infrequently associated with COVID-19 vaccination, mainly in patients with ongoing seizures. The likelihood of COVID-19 infection complications in PWE outweighs the risk of vaccination-related seizure exacerbations.
Pang EW, Lawn ND, Chan J, Lee J, Dunne JW. COVID-19 vaccination-related exacerbation of seizures in persons with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2022 Nov 29;138:109024. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2022.109024.
Functional disorders as a common motor manifestation of COVID-19 infection or vaccination
There have been over 500 million confirmed cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), across the globe. To date, a broad spectrum of neurological manifestations following acute infections as well as COVID-19 vaccines have been reported. The aim of this study was to describe the spectrum of neurological manifestations seen in the ‘COVID-19 clinic’ established in a tertiary Movement Disorders clinic.
In this consecutive case-series study over the period March 2020-January 2022, clinical information regarding demographic data, clinical history and examination findings, investigation results and video recordings of outpatients with motor manifestations associated with COVID-19 infection or vaccination were reviewed. Twenty-one adult patients were reviewed in this ad hoc clinic at Toronto Western Hospital. The majority of the patients were female (76%) and the mean (range) age was 50.7 ± 17.2 (21-80) years. Nine patients (43%) presented with motor manifestations following COVID-19 infection. Twelve patients (57%) developed neurological symptoms following at least one dose of the mRNA or viral vector-based COVID-19 vaccine. The most common manifestation observed was a functional movement disorder (43%). The vaccine group demonstrated a higher number of functional disorders compared to the infection group (58% vs. 22%; p = 0.08). The authors concluded that functional motor manifestations can be associated with COVID-19 and are likely to be under-reported. In view of the co-existence of functional symptoms, movement disorders and mental health conditions observed in this study, we would advocate the use of dedicated COVID-19 Neurology clinics with full access to an experienced multidisciplinary team.
Fung WKW, Sa’di Q, Katzberg H, Chen R, Lang AE, Cheung AM, Fasano A. Functional disorders as a common motor manifestation of COVID-19 infection or vaccination. Eur J Neurol. 2022 Nov 11. doi: 10.1111/ene.15630.