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AAN: Neurological Manifestations Common in Children With PIMS-TS

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 -- About half of children with pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (PIMS-TS) have new-onset neurological symptoms, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held virtually from April 17 to 22.

Omar Abdel-Mannan, M.D., from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and colleagues reported on neurological manifestations of children with PIMS-TS. Data were included for 46 patients who presented during the study period (median age, 10.2 years).

The researchers found that 52.2 percent of the children reported new-onset neurological symptoms, including headaches, encephalopathy, dysarthria/dysphonia, hallucinations, ataxia, peripheral nerve involvement, and seizures. One hundred eighteen leukocytes were seen in the cerebral spinal fluid of one patient. In four of 16 patients, there were splenium signal changes on brain magnetic resonance imaging. In 14 of 15 children who underwent electroencephalography, there was an excess of slow activity, while myopathic and neuropathic changes were seen in four of seven children who underwent nerve conduction studies and electromyography. Higher peak inflammatory markers were seen for children with neurological involvement, and they were more likely to be ventilated and require inotropic support in the pediatric intensive care unit.

"Children who develop this condition should definitely be evaluated for neurologic symptoms and longer-term cognitive outcomes," Abdel-Mannan said in a statement. "More studies are needed involving more children and following children to see how this condition changes over time and if there are any longer-term neurocognitive effects."

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