New Delhi: Stroke is likely to become more severe in coronavirus-infected people and their chances of recovery is almost half than those stroke patients not affected by COVID-19, doctors at AIIMS said on Friday.

Also, the patients who have stroke associated with COVID-19 have higher mortality and morbidity, Dr Rohit Bhatia, Professor, Department of Neurology at AIIMS, said.

World Stroke Day is observed on October 29.

The premier medical institute has conducted multi-centric studies on the outcomes of stroke before and during the pandemic and the clinical profile and outcome of stroke in patients without COVID-19.

“Generally a good recovery is called when a patient of stroke becomes independent in daily activities within three months of the stroke. COVID-19-related strokes are likely to be more severe and also associated with relatively poorer outcomes. However, it is still not clear whether Covid is causative or associated with the occurrence of stroke,” he said.

AIIMS collaborated with 17 other hospitals across the country to study the changes in stroke treatment pathway in 2,500 patients before and during the pandemic. The study outcomes suggested that there were some treatment delays and a mild increase in mortality in the patients during the pandemic period.

Endovascular Thrombectomy, an important procedure among patients with Ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion, reduced significantly during the pandemic. Several other procedures were also delayed, Bhatia said.

“COVID-19 is known to manifest and involve several other organs in the illness. The brain is among them. There is no definitive evidence to say that Covid can directly cause stroke, though it may add to the risk of clot formation,” said Dr M V Padma Srivastava, chief of Neurosciences Centre at AIIMS.

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