Study finds link between COVID-19 infection and neurological complications

pharmafile | October 27, 2021 | News story | Research and Development  

A study conducted by Nature Medicine has revealed an increased risk of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and Bell’s palsy following a first dose of the vaccine and after a COVID-19 positive test.

Nature Medicine conducted a controlled case series study to investigate hospital admissions from neurological complications, and found that this risk is heightened in people who catch COVID. The investigators examined the NHS records of 32 million adults in England, to assess rare adverse events linked to COVID vaccines.

Doctors have said that the study provides further reassurance that vaccinations offer the best protection for overall health, as catching COVID can be detrimental to your health.

In the study, following the first dose of the vaccine, there were 38 extra cases of GBS for every 10 million adults having the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 60 extra cases of haemorrhagic stroke for every 10 million adults having the Pfizer vaccine. 

There were also approximately 145 extra GBS cases per 10 million with a positive test, 123 extra brain inflammation disorder cases like encephalitis meningitis and myelitis per 10 million people, and 163 extra cases of myasthenia-like disorders (immune conditions affecting the nerves and muscles) per 10 million people.

Despite these results, rare adverse events brought on by COVID-19 vaccination remain extremely rare, and there is far greater evidence for the efficacy of vaccines than against them. The results of this landmark study suggest that complications are less likely following vaccination.

Lina Adams


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