Among evaluated patients with long COVID, prolonged, often disabling, small-fiber neuropathy after mild SARS-CoV-2 was most common, beginning within 1 month of COVID-19 onset. Various evidence suggested infection-triggered immune dysregulation as a common mechanism. - Nath, 2022
Symptoms of long COVID are reported to be on-and-off, cyclic or multiphasic. A meta-analysis of pain-related symptoms reported for patients with long-term PASC determined that every one month of follow-up corresponded to a 45% increase in prevalence in patients who developed neuralgia after acute COVID-19 infection.
Weakness, often accompanied by myalgia and arthralgia, is a musculoskeletal manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Central and peripheral nerve systems are one of the most susceptible targets for SARS-CoV-2 virus (neurotropism).
As well, a prolonged period of mechanical ventilation in the ICU may cause what is called “post intensive care syndrome” or “ICU-acquired weakness”, manifesting as cognitive dysfunction, muscle atrophy, sensory disruption and joint-related pain.
Residual effects from SARS-CoV-2 virus include fatigue, dyspnea, chest pain, persistent loss of taste and/or smell, cognitive changes, arthralgias, and decreased quality of life.
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Chief, Section for Infections of the Nervous System; Clinical Director, Translational Neuroscience Center,
NIH - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)