COVID-19 Infection, Vaccination May Unmask Underlying Neuroinflammatory Conditions

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Vaccines containing SARS-CoV-2 antigens can lead to increased autoimmunity leading to insidious and widespread inflammation, according to a case study presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held June 1-4, 2022 in National Harbor, Maryland. The patient was a 47-year-old man with a history of psoriasis and COVID-19. Patient received his COVID-19 vaccination 3 months after recovering from COVID-19 infection and presented with subacute lower extremity weakness, erectile dysfunction and gait instability with falls for several weeks after vaccination. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed enhanced lesions involving the cerebellum, brainstorm, basal ganglia, and parenchyma of the spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis, transient compatible serum, and cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands. There were no other noteworthy laboratory findings. Continue Reading Patient improved significantly after 5 days of high dose methylprednisolone treatment. Pulses of intravenous steroids were required when transitioning to oral prednisone due to recurrence of symptoms on day 6 and after 2 months of chronic steroid treatment. Previous case studies have identified 20 additional cases of central nervous system neuroinflammatory disease following COVID-19 infection or vaccination. Of these, 11 were transverse myelitis, 6 were optic neuritis and 3 were encephalomyelitis. This patient adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that COVID-19 infection or vaccination may unmask underlying neuroinflammatory conditions of the central nervous system. Although the resulting inflammation can be insidious, it can be treated. The researchers point out that while the resulting inflammation can be insidious, it is treatable and the “benefits of [the COVID-19] vaccination outweighs the lower risk of exposing an immune system-related condition. Reference Roy S, Barreras P, Pardo C, Newsome SD. Unmasking of recurrent encephalomyelitis after SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 infection. Presented at the 2022 GFCS Annual Meeting; June 1-4, 2022; National Harbor, Maryland. Abstract CSR04.

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