Skip to main content

No serological evidence for neuronal damage or reactive gliosis in neuro-COVID-19 patients with long-term persistent headache.

Neurological research and practice

Authors: Laura de Boni, Alexandru Odainic, Natalie Gancarczyk, Luisa Kaluza, Christian P Strassburg, Xenia A K Kersting, Joseph M Johnson, Ullrich Wüllner, Susanne V Schmidt, Jacob Nattermann, Gabor C Petzold

Recent studies have indicated that long-term neurological sequelae after COVID-19 are not accompanied by an increase of canonical biomarkers of central nervous system injury in blood, but subgroup stratifications are lacking. This is a particular concern in chronic headache, which can be a leading symptom of Post-COVID diseases associated with neuronal damage such as vasculitis or autoimmune encephalitis. We here compared patients with mild Post-COVID-19 syndrome and persistent headache (persistent Post-COVID-19 headache) lasting longer than 12 weeks after the initial serological diagnosis, to patients with mild and severe COVID-19 and COVID-19-negative controls. Levels of neurofilament light chain and glial fibrillary astrocytic protein, i.e. markers of neuronal damage and reactive astrogliosis, were lower in blood from patients with persistent Post-COVID-19 headache compared to patients with severe COVID-19. Hence, our pilot serological study indicates that long-term Post-COVID-19 headache may not be a sign of underlying neuronal damage or neuroinflammation.

© 2022. The Author(s).

PMID: 36310154

Participating cluster members