The pathophysiology of COVID-19-related disorders of consciousness

Takeaway

  • The pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness (DoC) from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires further research to help improve clinical decision-making. 

Why this matters

  • Neurologic manifestations from COVID-19, such as impaired consciousness, have been found in 1−20% of patients with COVID-19, particularly in those with severe infection and comorbidities. In addition, an emerging complication of patients with severe COVID-19 is DoC, which include coma, vegetative states, and minimally conscious states.

  • The pathophysiology of COVID-DoC currently remains unclear, which carries an uncertain prognosis for neurologic recovery and complicates clinical decision-making, especially those regarding life-sustaining treatment.