The following are some of the highlights of research presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, held 19-22 June 2021.
DMTs in development
CNS/PNS complications: A Danish study reported that 28 of 61 consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital had CNS/PNS complications (Nersesjan et al. EAN 2021; OPR-140). The most common complication was encephalopathy (31%); other complications included ischemic stroke, acute necrotizing encephalitis and transverse myelitis. The most common PNS complication was polyneuromyopathy. Most complications were secondary to critical illness or other causes. There was no evidence of CNS infection by CoV-2; laboratory changes implicated autoimmune-mediated mechanisms in some cases. Read More
The World Health Organization is now listing four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and seven additional variants of interest (VOI) worldwide (www.who.int/en/activities/tracking-SARS-CoV-2-variants/). A VOC is characterized by an increase in transmissibility or virulence, a change in clinical presentation, and/or decreased effectiveness of vaccines or therapeutics. A VOI is a strain that has caused multiple case clusters. Read More
The latest recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is that the second COVID-19 vaccination can be administered with a different vaccine product (NACI, 1 June 2021). Consequently, people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine can be switched to an mRNA vaccine for the second dose. The recommendation was based on concerns about vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) following first and second vaccinations with viral-vector vaccines. Read More
A systematic review of 87 studies has found that patients with multiple sclerosis have a slightly increased mortality risk from COVID-19, notably those who are older with significant disability and/or comorbidities (Barzegar et al. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2021;8:e1001). Read More