Myoclonus and Cerebellar Ataxia Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Case Report and Review of the Literature
KeywordsSARS-CoV-2 infection, myoclonus, ataxia, differential diagnoses
The current SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global health crisis. The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic infection to critical illness affecting almost every organ including the central and peripheral nervous systems. Myoclonus, a less expected and relatively unusual neurological complication, together with ataxia, has lately been associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We describe the case of a 67-year-old male patient, admitted to our hospital for interstitial bilateral pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, who progressively developed general myoclonus and later cerebellar ataxia and gait disturbance. Given the timeline from COVID-19 systemic symptoms to neurological manifestations and the normal results of extensive and non-conclusive diagnostic work-up (blood test, lumbar puncture, EEG, cerebral MRI), a para-infectious encephalopathy related to SARS-CoV-2 was contemplated and a high dose of methylprednisolone was started with prompt symptom improvement.
Further investigation and neuroepidemiological studies are needed to help define the mechanism of neuroinvasion and the entire spectrum of neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in mildly affected patients, in terms of prevention, treatment and possible neurological sequelae.
Issue: 2021: Vol 8 No 5 (view)