February 17, 2021
Many thanks to Jennifer Frontera, MD, Professor of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, New York, for discussing the new Neuro Databank-Biobank for COVID-19. Dr. Frontera is a neurocritical care specialist and has been caring for COVID-19 patients in New York City since the start of the pandemic. She has contributed to several important research publications on this topic found at www.pubmed.gov.
“Disaster Medicine” in NYC
Dr. Frontera described the challenges of practicing “disaster medicine” at the onset of the pandemic. The high numbers of COVID-19 infected patients required impromptu field hospitals and the recruitment of all available medically trained personnel. New York City physicians are now applying lessons learned to the current “second surge” of the disease.
To better understand the neurologic complications of COVID-19, NYU collected information on approximately 5,000 patients last spring. With the help of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the program now accepts data and specimens from physicians treating COVID-19-infected patients anywhere in the country. The registry also welcomes information and samples from outpatients with “Long-COVID.” Reimbursement is available to compensate for the time required to complete the data entry form.
Dr. Frontera encouraged both academic and community neurologists to contact the databank to submit their experience with COVID-19 patients.
As much as the Neuro Databank and Biobank welcomes COVID-19 samples, Dr. Frontera and I agree that vaccination is a low-risk and highly effective way to prevent the disease and the neurologic complications that may result. The registry will gladly settle for fewer contributions if it means a healthier population!