One-third or more of adults with COVID-19 showed neurological manifestations on presentation and/or during hospital admission, with many experiencing post-discharge adverse cognitive and emotional health outcomes. However, systematic, prospective studies on neurological manifestations and post-hospital outcomes in children with COVID-19 and/or the associated Multisystem Inflammatory Disease in Children (MIS-C) are lacking. Further, racial and geographic health disparities in COVID-19 and MIS-C disease makes it imperative to understand neurological manifestations and outcomes world-wide.
The objective of our consortium is to test the overall hypothesis that children with neurological manifestations of COVID-19 and/or MIS-C are at greater risk for adverse neurological outcomes at hospital discharge and/or after discharge. We will leverage our multinational (> 100 centers in 26 countries and counting) GCS Neuro-COVID pediatric network to: 1) advance knowledge about the scope and severity of neurological symptoms and events associated with COVID-19 or MIS-C in hospitalized children and assess functional status at hospital discharge, and 2) analyze patient and family centered functional outcomes, symptoms, and quality of life after discharge. Our long-term objective will use results from this study to apply for NIH funding to investigate detailed pediatric brain imaging, electrophysiologic and neuropsychological testing and tissue biomarkers to gain mechanistic insights into treatment opportunities.