A data landscape review of datasets used in the surveillance of neurological complications of COVID-19

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Stephen McKeever

Study type
Data only

Institution or company
University of Liverpool

Researcher type

Speciality area
Neurological Disorders, COVID


During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that COVID-19 infection caused a range of issues within the nervous system, which we have also seen in previous pandemics including Spanish flu (1918) and Swine flu (2009). The neurological complications from COVID-19 have resulted in patients developing long term health problems and disabilities that can persist long after their initial infection has resolved.

In response to COVID-19, multiple datasets were created to collect data of patients with COVID-19. However, the datasets were not primarily focused on neurological outcomes and therefore collected a range of different information. This project aims to review the strengths and limitations of these databases, covering the sources of data and the quality of data obtained. The review can then help us better understand how common neurological complications of COVID-19 were, as well as inform us of a better way to develop databases and improve our approach in identifying the neurological complications of infectious diseases in future pandemics.

Potential patient benefit:

Neurological complications from respiratory coronaviruses can create long-term health problems for patients. Therefore, it is important that we have a deeper understanding of how patients with infectious diseases are at higher risk of developing neurological complications and have the right tools to identify patients to guide management and enable targeted clinical trials.

This data landscape review can help us to identify how health data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic and inform us of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This can help direct future research to develop intuitive platforms and databases to be ready at the start of the next pandemic, which will enable researchers to have early access to data regarding neurological complications and can produce interventions earlier, which can ultimately benefit patients.