The Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center is studying the cognitive function and physical outcomes of COVID-19 survivors to understand the relationship between COVID-19 and long-term health from the pandemic. It may be that the dementia seen after critical illness, that we already study, could be made worse for COVID-19 patients. Neurotropism of coronaviridae (CoVs) is known to have occurred in both the SARS and MERS epidemics. SARS-CoV-2 closely shares the viral structure and pathobiology of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
"ICU patients need "to have humans around to orient them, to calibrate them, to touch them, to look in their eyes, and make them understand what's happening," Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor of medicine and critical care at Vanderbilt University, said. "But that's exactly what the COVID patients won't get because they're all being isolated." Ely said physicians are learning about the specific impact of COVID-19 on post-ICU syndrome from countries that have already had large numbers of cases."