Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL—Loyola Medicine is providing multidisciplinary care for patients with long-term neurological, cognitive and other symptoms associated with COVID-19.
"While most patients with COVID-19 have mild-to-moderate symptoms and recover at home, a fraction of severe, typically hospitalized patients (approximately 10%, according to an article in the British Medical Journal) are discharged with lingering, life-altering symptoms," said José Biller, MD, professor and chair, department of neurology, Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Biller is leading the Loyola Medicine COVID-19 neurology clinic.
Persistent neurological symptoms in patients following acute COVID-19 may include fatigue; brain fog; loss of smell (anosmia); distorted or loss of taste (dysgeusia); headache; vertigo; sleep disturbances; loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia); and neuromuscular aches, cramps and pain (myalgia).
"These 'long-haul' patients may also have neuropsychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder," said Dr. Biller. "As a result of their symptoms, many of these individuals are unable to return to work and suffer economic stressors."
For older patients, COVID-19 may increase the risk for or exacerbate cognitive decline and dementia, said Dr. Biller, who co-authored the study, "Correlations between COVID-19 and burden of dementia" in the September 2020 Journal of the Neurological Sciences. "Many patients with dementia decline significantly after contracting COVID-19."
In addition to Dr. Biller, the Loyola COVID-19 neurology clinic includes neurologists Stasia Rouse, MD and Kathy Kujawa, MD, PhD. The clinic will refer patients to other specialists – including psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, nephrologists, and nutritionists – as needed.
"The long-term symptoms of COVID-19 may be protracted," said Richard K. Freeman, MD, MBA, regional chief clinical officer, Loyola Medicine. "Loyola Medicine is committed to providing comprehensive, exemplary care to these patients."
About Loyola Medicine
Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago's western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, an inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, offers care at over 15 Chicago-area locations. For more information, visit loyolamedicine.org. You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
About Trinity Health
Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.8 billion and assets of $30.5 billion, the organization returns $1.3 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit trinity-health.org. You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.