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New-Onset Seizures as an Acute Presentation With Atypical EEG Findings in a Previously Healthy Child With Asymptomatic COVID-19 Infection

Authors
  • Akbar, Asra1
  • Ahmad, Sharjeel2
  • 1 Pediatric Neurology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, USA
  • 2 Infectious Diseases, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cureus
Publisher
Cureus, Inc.
Publication Date
Mar 06, 2022
Volume
14
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.7759/cureus.22899
PMID: 35399417
PMCID: PMC8986499
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Infectious Disease
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This infection usually presents with upper respiratory symptoms; however, it can also present with a wide variety of other multisystem and neurological symptoms, including seizures. There are several proposed mechanisms by which COVID-19 can cause systemic signs of infections, including neurological complications and seizures. This case report describes a pediatric patient without a previously documented history of epilepsy who was admitted for new-onset focal seizures with impaired consciousness. No other cause and triggers of seizures were found, and the child was tested positive for COVID-19 infection. The patient had six electroclinical seizures during EEG. Video EEG findings showed atypical features of onset of intermittent rhythmic delta activity (IRDA) slowing over the left hemisphere with evolution/generalization of rhythmic delta/theta activity and without clear typical generalized epileptiform discharges. These EEG findings correlated with a clinical change of behavior arrest, staring, and yawning. Similar spells were reported multiple times a day prior to the admission, and past EEG was normal. A review of current literature on COVID-19 and neurological manifestations in children, including new seizures and prior diagnosis of epilepsy, is also provided in this case report. The clinical experience in children with newly diagnosed or chronic epilepsy suggests that exacerbation of seizures, especially from systemic effects such as those caused by severe COVID-19 infection, will be a major concern.

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