About us

COVID-19 patients frequently suffer brain problems during the infection and can be left with symptoms of brain injury. Similar problems have been seen in previous pandemics, including Spanish influenza over 100 years ago, but how and why this occurs is poorly understood.

What is the study?

We have already been notified of UK patients with these complications due to COVID-19. We have a unique opportunity to understand how these problems occur and develop strategies to prevent and treat them.

The questions we will ask include in whom does COVID-19 cause injury? Does it do this by invading the brain? Or by triggering excessive immune responses or interfering with the blood supply to nervous tissue?

We will answer these questions through in-depth clinical, laboratory, and imaging studies of 480 patients in comparison to 320 control patients (hospitalised during the pandemic with COVID-19 [256] or without COVID-19 [64]). Our recruitment target will be 800 patients in total.

Without this understanding, we cannot determine whether anti-viral medication or treatments that modulate the immune system or that improve blood supply will help, and if so in which patients.

We will apply this understanding through our World Health Organisation-commissioned Task Force (co-Chair Professor Ben Michael) to develop clinical care guidelines, identify patients for targeted clinical trials, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Back to: COVID-19 Clinical Neuroscience Study (COVID-CNS)