Review article published on the neurological impact of coronaviruses

Microscopic image of a coronavirus

May 2020: A team led by Rowling Scholar, Dr Arpan Mehta, has published a timely review article summarising the emerging evidence pointing to various neurological effects of COVID-19.

Our staff have been working in new ways to support the clinic in this unprecedented and challenging time.  The clinic has rapidly and effectively adopted tele- and video-conferencing for appointments, implemented specialist hotlines for our MS and neuroinflammatory services, and re-deployed staff to the front-line.  Staff have also been involved with shaping policy at a national level and helping to write guidance.

Dr Arpan Mehta, one of our Rowling Scholars, has led a team comprising of neurologists in Edinburgh, London and Canada, who have reviewed the growing literature pointing to the presence of various neurological effects of COVID-19 – a primarily respiratory disease.  The results of their review have been published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. Their research has found that the jury is still out as to whether the virus directly affects nerves, or whether its effects are as a result of the body’s own reaction to the virus.  Much research is underway to address this.

It is a core activity of the Anne Rowling Clinic to recruit and support the next generation of research leaders and this involves helping to nurture early career researchers alongside delivering high-quality patient-care and world-class  research.  The Rowling Scholars scheme attracted Arpan to apply to do his PhD – jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Motor Neurone Disease Association – with Professors Siddharthan Chandran and Giles Hardingham, and this publication is a prime example of the success of the Rowling scheme: whilst being unable to carry out laboratory work because of the lockdown, Arpan has supervised third year medical student at the University of Edinburgh, Julian Kwong, on this project, leading to Julian’s first publication.  The Rowling community that has been built over the years is one that promotes the highest level of research even amongst our youngest members.    

Useful links

Read the review paper in the Journal of Clinical Neurosciences

The Rowling Scholars Scheme

Dr Arpan Mehta

This article was published on: Thursday, May 14, 2020