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Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) associated with COVID-19
  1. Lawrence Langley,
  2. Claudia Zeicu,
  3. Louise Whitton and
  4. Mathilde Pauls
  1. University College Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lawrence Langley; lawrence.langley1{at}


A 53-year-old man admitted to the critical care secondary to respiratory failure due to COVID-19 developed agitation and global hypotonia. Brain MRI revealed bilateral hyperintense lesions throughout the brain and cerebrospinal fluid identified oligoclonal bands. Intravenous high-dose glucocorticoids were administered followed by an oral tapering dose and the patient clinically improved. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis should be considered in patients with COVID-19 who present with altered mentation and polyfocal neurological deficits.

  • infectious diseases
  • intensive care
  • adult intensive care
  • neurology
  • COVID-19

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  • LL and CZ are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @mathildepauls

  • Contributors LL, CZ, LW and MP contributed to the design, acquisition of data and production of manuscript. All made substantial contributions and were directly involved in the patient’s care. LL and CZ were responsible for the conception and initial draft and should be regarded as joint first authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.