Neurological Care and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Chapter 6-COVID-19 and Autoimmune Demyelinating Diseases

Elsevier, Neurological Care and the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021, Pages 87-107
Anza B Memon, Natalie Stec, Helena Bulka, Mirela Cerghet

This chapter addresses COVID-19 in the context of patients with demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common CNS demyelinating disease, and SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with MS and other autoimmune demyelinating CNS disorders causes numerous concerns. As with other infectious diseases, COVID-19 may exacerbate pathology in patients with MS. Standard therapies for MS and immunosuppressive treatments for other CNS autoimmune disorders may pose unique risks during severe COVID-19. However, preliminary findings on SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest that some MS therapies may limit the aggressive immune response underlying severe COVID-19 complications. Furthermore, infection with SARS-CoV-2 may have the potential to trigger postinfection autoimmune disorders. Here we review the current understanding of COVID-19 in patients with MS and other CNS disorders and the impact of immunomodulatory therapies on these patients.