By and large, pediatric COVID patients do really well. On rare occasion however, they can develop something called multisystem inflammatory syndrome of children (MIS-C), which, as the name implies, can involve multiple systems throughout the body. By and large, again, with appropriate care, these children do well.
A small number of children with MIS-C will experience involvement of the nervous system. This can involve not only the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord, but also the peripheral nervous system which means the nerves. And there are two British researchers who have taken the lead in terms of describing the neurological involvement in the pediatric population as it relates to MIS-C, a consequence of COVID-19.
Let me tell you about these dedicated researchers/clinicians who are our guests on the program today.
Dr Yael Hacohen MD PhD Bio
Yael Hacohen is a Consultant Pediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and UCL Institute of Neurology, (London, UK). Dr Hacohen completed her doctoral studies in 2014, in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience (NDCN) at Oxford University, where she studied children with autoimmune encephalitis and characterized their clinical and immunological (autoantibody) phenotypes. In 2014 she was awarded the Du Pre’ grant by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation for a research fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her research output has resulted in over 70 peer-reviewed publications and invitations to give over 20 lectures nationally and internationally. Her main research interest and expertise is in neuroimmunology, particularly the role of antibodies in pediatric acquired demyelinating syndromes.
Dr Omar Abdel-Mannan MD Bio
Omar Abdel-Mannan is a senior paediatric neurology registrar (resident) at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, currently undertaking a PhD at UCL Institute of Neurology, funded by the Association of British Neurologists and MS Society. After completing his undergraduate medical degree (MD) at Oxford University in 2011, he completed his general pediatrics training, securing research funding as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Pediatrics (2013-2017) at UCL Institute of Child Health, followed by a Guarantors of Brain Clinical Entry Fellowship (2020-2021) at UCL Institute of Neurology. His current PhD project (and research interest) is focussed on pediatric multiple sclerosis and demyelinating conditions of childhood.
All in all, the message on the program today turns out to be encouraging.