Due to the tireless research done by scientists, new discoveries about SARS-CoV-2 have been brought to light. Just this week, new findings that were published by medical journals have prompted health officials to reconsider existing safety protocols. It was implied that the virus can likely stay airborne longer and travel farther in aerosols. Additionally, it was likewise suggested that the majority of transmissions were from asymptomatic and presymptomatic patients. Now, the latest one establishes a possible connection to COVID-19 and a fatal, inflammatory brain condition.

By now, researchers have already concluded that in severe situations -- which often lead to a grim outcome -- the immune system triggers a response called a cytokine storm. These have an inflammatory effect on various organs of the human body and aggravates certain preexisting conditions. Thus, healthcare experts are speculating the likelihood that COVID-19 might be a contributing factor to the increasing cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM).

Normally, this is classified as a rare neurological disease that affects children who had viral infections. According to data supplied by the University College of London, doctors typically diagnose an adult with the aforementioned condition at least once in a month. However, based on their recent observations, this has grown to one per week, which they consider a "concerning increase."

The abstract detailing this sudden rise of cases in adults was published in Brain, an Oxford Academic journal focused on neurology. Meanwhile, one of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Michael Zandi of UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust stated: "We should be vigilant and look out for these complications in people who have had COVID-19."

He also added: "Whether we will see an epidemic on a large scale of brain damage linked to the pandemic -- perhaps similar to the encephalitis lethargica outbreak in the 1920s and 1930s after the 1918 influenza pandemic -- remains to be seen."

COVID-19 study show possible inflammatory neurological condition
scientists warn about a likely huge wave of brain damage resulting from coronavirus infections enriquelopezgarre - Pixabay

Based on brain scans of 43 patients who exhibited neurological symptoms after being hospitalised for COVID-19, there were several types of neuroinflammatory diseases observed. More research is needed to come up with a treatment plan for these types of complications brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus.