Scientific publications

COVID-19 and the brain: impact on nuclear medicine in neurology

Jul 23, 2020 | Magazine: European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Silvia Morbelli 1  2 , Ozgul Ekmekcioglu 3 , Henryk Barthel 4 , Nathalie L Albert 5 , Ronald Boellaard 6 , Diego Cecchin 7 , Eric Guedj 8 , Adriaan A Lammertsma 6 , Ian Law 9 , Ivan Penuelas 10 , Franck Semah 11 , Tatjana Traub-Weidinger 12 , Elsmarieke van de Giessen 13 , Andrea Varrone 14 , Valentina Garibotto 15  16 , EANM Neuroimaging Committee

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to be a pandemic [1]. The wide spread of infections led to an immediate urgency with the number of affected patients exceeding capacities of many involved healthcare systems with substantial morbidity and mortality [2].

During the pandemic emergency, hospitals and healthcare facilities all over the world were forced to postpone elective procedures. Thankfully, in keeping with different stages and timeframe of the curve of infection, it has been possible to progressively restart these activities over time in several countries [3]. Both during the pandemic crisis and in the present transition phase, measures and precautions have been particularly relevant for fragile patients [3, 4]. In fact, comorbidities together with age have been demonstrated as important prognostic factors for the severity of disease in patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 [2, 5].

Among fragile subjects, patients with chronic neurological disease are more susceptible to the effects of the infection, particularly involving the respiratory tract [6, 7]. Impairment of central respiratory centres (CNS) could also contribute to the severe acute respiratory syndrome associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [8].

Given the high impact of these disorders on human health, there is a present need to progressively restore necessary access and care for patients affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases, including molecular imaging techniques which are part of the diagnostic work-up of these patients [4].

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2020 Jul 23.  doi: 10.1007/s00259-020-04965-x