COVID-19: newborn can develop acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) due to SARS-COV-2 infection

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Acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) is a rare but serious complication of COVID-19 infection in children. ANE is a neurological disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the brain. It can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.

While COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, it can affect other organs in the body, including the brain. ANE is believed to be an immune-mediated response to the virus, where the body’s immune system overreacts and attacks healthy brain tissue.

The symptoms of ANE in children with COVID-19 can include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if your child experiences any of these symptoms.

Treatment for ANE typically involves supportive care, including medication to control seizures, and management of other symptoms. Some children may require intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

The first reported pediatric case of ANE associated with SARS-CoV-2 was reported in 2021 in the United States involving a 9-month-old boy presented with fever, irritability, left focal seizure, and febrile focal seizure status as the first symptoms, which improved after symptomatic management such as mechanical ventilation, but remained with severe neuropsychiatric symptoms.

reference link : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34017667/

The most recent case was reported and documented by Chinese doctors : https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-2621182/v1

Acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) is a rare and serious neurological disorder that can cause inflammation and damage to the brain. ANE is typically characterized by the rapid onset of symptoms, including seizures, altered mental status, and impaired consciousness. The condition can progress quickly and may lead to coma and even death.

ANE is believed to be an immune-mediated disorder, meaning that it is caused by the immune system’s response to an infection, such as a virus. In the case of ANE, the immune system overreacts to the presence of a virus or other infection and attacks healthy brain tissue. This results in inflammation and damage to the brain, which can lead to the symptoms of ANE.

The exact cause of ANE is not well understood, but it has been associated with a number of viral infections, including influenza, herpes simplex virus, and enterovirus. In recent years, cases of ANE have been reported in association with COVID-19 infection in children.

The symptoms of ANE can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the specific areas of the brain that are affected. In addition to seizures and altered mental status, symptoms may include fever, headache, vomiting, and difficulty speaking or moving. In severe cases, the symptoms may progress rapidly and lead to respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, and death.

Diagnosis of ANE typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, laboratory tests, and imaging studies such as CT or MRI scans. Treatment for ANE typically involves supportive care, including medication to control seizures and other symptoms, as well as management of any complications that may arise. In some cases, children with ANE may require intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

While ANE is a rare condition, it is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately if they suspect their child may be affected. The prognosis for children with ANE can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but early recognition and treatment can improve outcomes.

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