Neurological Symptoms and Complications of COVID 19

Neurological Symptoms and Complications of COVID 19

Readings:

  1. Chen, X., Laurent, S., Onur, O.A., Kleineberg, N.N., Fink, G. R., Schweitzer, F., and Warnke, C. (2021). A systematic review of neurological symptoms and complications of COVID-19.  Journal of Neurology, 268, 392-402.
  2. Self-selected article that is relevant to the question. This can be a review or a primary research article. You need to submit a PDF version or a PDF with the full reference information for the article you select.  During class, you will be discussing the readings in groups and each member of the group is required to select an article unique from those selected by other members of the group. You will be able to see the article that have been submitted by your group members previously so that you can make sure that you do not choose one that has already been selected by another group member. This part of the exercise is due on Monday 11/1

Learning objectives from this SLE:

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  • Describe processes/methods that scientists use to evaluate support for a hypothesis.
  • Search for and evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of empirical data that address the hypothesis.
  • Formulate your own opinion on the extent to which current knowledge does or does not support the hypothesis.

Assignment details: Read the assigned review and an article that you have selected that is relevant to the hypothesis that COVID19 causes neurological symptoms and complications. As you read these articles, take notes on the following questions:

  • What are the mechanisms by which the COVID19 virus may cause neurological symptoms?
  • What are important issues to consider when designing experiments to investigate this question?
  • What controls are needed?
  • What factors might influence the data other than COVID19?
  • What evidence is presented in the articles that you have read that support the hypothesis and how strongly to the findings support or refute the hypothesis?
  • If you identify limitations in the way data was collected or experiments were designed, how much impact do they have on your view of whether COVID19 causes neurological symptoms?
  • What gaps in existing knowledge exist and how much impact do they have on your view of whether COVID19 causes neurological symptoms?

Answering the above questions will require critical thinking. You will likely find that the authors of the articles have provided insights into these questions because their scientific writing of the articles required critical assessment of findings/interpretations. Scientific writing also requires precision in how you present and talk about findings from the literature. This precision may manifest 1) in the details you provide about studies that have been done previously so that the reader can understand strengths or weaknesses of the approach or 2) in how you describe your interpretation of the findings (e.g., preliminary, converging lines of evidence, compelling evidence, etc.).

In class: You will discuss with your group members the information described in the class-assigned review article and share your assessment of that information. Next, members of the group will take turns discussing new information that they learned from their self-selected article on the topic. During those discussions, students will ask the lead discussant any questions they have about article that would help them formulate their own critical view of the new information discussed.

Please come to class prepared to share what you have learned and your conclusions with your classmates.  We will work in small groups first, and then subsequently share across groups. After this class meeting, you will write your own views on whether or not COVID19 causes neurological symptoms and complications.

Writing your own view:

  1. First you will describe the possible mechanisms by which COVID19 may have an impact on neurological function.
  2. You will then summarize the findings that support or refute actions of COVID19 via these mechanisms in a manner that also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the approach used to obtain the data.
  3. Your concluding paragraph should include statements that convey your view on current support for the hypothesis and whether or not there are critical gaps that need to be addressed to fully answer the question.
  4. Write the FULL citation of references you used at the end in a reference list.