Luana da Silva Chagas a , Poliana Capucho Sandre b , Patricia Coelho de Velasco c , Henrique Marcondes a , Natalia Cristina Aparecida Ribeiro e Ribeiro a , Aline Loureiro Barreto a , Luiza Beatriz Alves Mauro a , Julia Huber Ferreira a , Claudio A. Serfaty a , d , *
2 February 2021
COVID-19, a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) betacoronavirus, affects children in a different way than it does in adults, with milder symptoms. However, several cases of neurological symptoms with neuroinflammatory syndromes, such as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), following mild cases, have been reported. As with other viral infections, such as rubella, influenza, and cytomegalovirus, SARS-CoV-2 induces a surge of proinflammatory cytokines that affect microglial function, which can be harmful to brain development. Along with the viral induction of neuroinflammation, other noninfectious conditions may interact to produce additional inflammation, such as the nutritional imbalance of fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Additionally, transient thyrotoxicosis induced by SARS-CoV-2 with secondary autoimmune hypothyroidism has been reported, which could go undetected during pregnancy. Together, those factors may pose additional risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection impacting mechanisms of neural development such as synaptic pruning and neural circuitry formation. The present review discusses those conditions in the perspective of the understanding of risk factors that should be considered and the possible emergence of neurodevelopmental disorders in COVID-19-infected children.