None of the patients had previously experienced epilepsy or seizures
A hitherto unknown possible side effect of it coronavirus scientists discovered in Oxfordwhich can even appear six months after the disease.
Specifically, the University team, writing in the journal Neurologyfound that the virus increases the risk of developing seizures or epilepsy within six months of infection.
Children are more at risk
The researchers studied the records of more than 150,000 people with flu and coronavirus. The increased risk was more pronounced in children than in adults and was also more common in those who had not been hospitalized because of the virus, according to the research.
None of the patients had previously experienced epilepsy or seizures, and all were similar in age, sex, and medical history.
After re-examining the data, after a six-month period, the scientists found that those who contracted Covid were 55% more likely to develop epilepsy or seizures in the following six months than those who had the flu.
The risk of occurrence is low
However, the overall risk of developing seizures or epilepsy is very low, less than 1% of those who have tested positive, said study author Arjune Sen of the University of Oxford.
He added: “The increased risk of seizures and epilepsy in children gives us another reason to try to prevent infections at younger ages.
“We recommend, however, that healthcare professionals pay particular attention to people who may have more subtle features of seizures, such as for example focal seizures, especially in the first three months after a less severe Covid-19 infection,” the scientist concluded.