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Abstract

The aim of this work is to clarify the incidence of meningitis/encephalitis in SARS-CoV-2 patients. We conducted an initial search in PubMed using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms “meningitis,” and “encephalitis,”, and “COVID-19” to affirm the need for a review on the topic of the relationship between meningitis/encephalitis and SARS-CoV-2 infection. We included case series, case reports and review articles of COVID-19 patients with these neurological symptoms. Through PubMed database we identified 110 records. After removal of duplicates , we screened 70 record, and 43 were excluded because they focused on different SARS-CoV-2 neurological complications. For eligibility, we assessed 27 fulltext articles which met inclusion criteria. Seven articles were excluded, and twenty studies were included in the narrative review, in which encephalitis and/or meningitis case reports/case series were reported. Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 are not rare, especially meningoencephalitis; the hypoxic/metabolic changes produced by the inflammatory response against the virus cytokine storm can lead to encephalopathy, and the presence of comorbidities and other neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, predispose to these metabolic changes. Further study are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms of neurological complications of COVID-19.

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