Restless Anal Syndrome: 77-Year-Old Man Develops Horrific Post-COVID Condition

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The study followed nearly 1,300 people hospitalised for Covid between January and May 2020 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first city affected by the pandemic
The study followed nearly 1,300 people hospitalised for Covid between January and May 2020 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first city affected by the pandemic

A 77-year-old man in Japan who was hospitalized with a mild form of COVID-19 developed a horrific condition after his recovery. Doctors say this could be the world's first case of "Restless Anal Syndrome."

It is reportedly a variant of the restless legs syndrome, a common neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, typically in the evenings.

A case study by Dr. Itaru Nakamura, published in BMC Infectious Diseases, said the man was admitted to Tokyo Medical University Hospital after testing positive for the virus. 

He responded well to the treatment and left the hospital after some weeks. But he soon developed restlessness and deep anal discomfort, which gave him an "essential urge to move." 

Though the symptoms worsened in the evenings and while resting, the discomfort eased while walking, running or playing video games that required motion. 

A colonoscopy revealed internal hemorrhoids "without other rectal lesions." All other tests revealed there were no abnormalities, including spinal cord injury. The man had no family history of restless legs syndrome.

The study said COVID-19 can have "neural spread" and can result in restless legs syndrome.

There are also other possible side effects as the virus "spread to the central nervous system through several potential routes, including hematogenous dissemination and the destruction of the olfactory bulb," the report said, according to News.com. This includes delirium, confessional states, dysfunctional olfaction and taste sensation, acute psychosis, encephalitis and acute cerebrovascular events.

"Insomnia, depressed mood, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cognitive impairment have been reported in patients after discharge from the hospital," it added.

Recently, another post-COVID condition was reported in India after five people contracted gallbladder gangrene post recovery. The condition has a high morbidity rate and the patients required emergency surgery, doctors said, adding that four of the five patients, who were aged between 37 and 75, had holes in their gall bladder. 

Thousands of cases of a deadly black fungus infection, or mucormycosis, were reported in India earlier this year. Experts said it could be related to the heavy use of steroids to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients.


The study followed nearly 1,300 people hospitalised for Covid between January and May 2020 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first city affected by the pandemic

Photo: AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA

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