Covid Raises Risks for Mental, Neurological Disorders, Says Study: Lancet.

Covid Raises Risks for Mental, Neurological Disorders, Says Study: Lancet

A study published last October found that 4 of 5 Covid patients suffer neurological symptoms.

A third of Covid-19 survivors were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition in the six months after being infected, according to the first large-scale research to compare the risks to other illnesses, including influenza.

The University of Oxford study analyzed health records of 236,379 Covid-19 patients infected last year, according to a report in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. As might be expected, anxiety and mood disorders were the most common diagnoses, at 17% and 14% of patients respectively. But the study also found 7% of those made sickest by the virus had a stroke and 2% were diagnosed with dementia.

While the investigators stressed that the specific causes of these long-term affects are largely unknown, they suggested some of might be linked to stress, job loss or loneliness during quarantine. More in-depth research is needed on the neurological risks and more resources are needed to address the full range of implications, they said.

"Although the individual risks for most disorders are small, the effect across the whole population may be substantial for health and social-care systems due to the scale of the pandemic and that many of these conditions are chronic," said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at the university and the study's lead author.

The researchers also explored data from 105,579 people with influenza and 236,038 patients with any respiratory tract infection. There was a 44% greater risk of neurological and mental health diagnoses after Covid-19 than after flu, and a 16% greater risk than with respiratory tract infections.

"Although we know that the virus can access the brain, it's not necessarily only the neurons in the brain that might be effected," said Masud Husain, professor of neurology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford. "We need to be careful about what we attribute the effect of the virus to the brain itself."

Brain Fog

At the start of the pandemic, a number of Covid patients whose symptoms were initially mild developed long-term neurological problems, what survivors refer to as "brain fog." At the time there was no strong evidence that Covid-19 infects the brain. However, since then there have been several other studies that have made the link between Covid-19 and increased risk of neurological disorders.

A study published last October found that about 4 of 5 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 suffer neurological symptoms, including muscle pain, headaches, confusion, dizziness and the loss of smell or taste. Another study from Wuhan, China, where the virus first appeared, found that 36% of patients had neurological symptoms ranging from headache to impaired consciousness.

A limitation of the Oxford study is that the researchers only analyzed records of patients diagnosed with Covid, which does not take into consideration people who were infected but had no symptoms.

Some of patients in the control cohort "might have also had Covid," said Max Taquet, a study co-author. "We didn't know that." It means the findings could have underestimated the relative risk of developing neurological or mental health disorders.

Still, the overall message is clear, according to Taquet. "We need to be proactive and establish follow-up strategy for patients who have had Covid," he said, adding that health-care providers should be prepared to address an increased demand for assessment and treatment of these disorders.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Biden Announces End to 'America’s Longest War'

Biden Announces End to 'America’s Longest War'

US will pull out 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, months later than the May 1st deadline for a full withdrawal set by the Trump administration

1

Daunte Wright protesters wave pig's head on fourth night of chaos in Brooklyn.

Daunte Wright protesters wave pig's head on fourth night of chaos in Brooklyn.

Daunte Wright protesters waved a pig's head at cops as chaos again erupted in Brooklyn, with hundreds storming the police station. Demonstrators came out for the fourth night in a row since Wright, 20, was fatally shot by police officer Kim Potter...

1

New York Times builds CEO 'hit list' for activists to target.

New York Times builds CEO 'hit list' for activists to target.

Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza discusses liberal bias in the media on 'The Ingraham Angle.' #FoxNews #Ingraham Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompas...

4

Defense Pathology Expert says George Floyd Died from Multiple Factors.

Defense Pathology Expert says George Floyd Died from Multiple Factors.

Murder trial of Derek Chauvin begins to wrap up as another Minnesota police officer is charged in shooting of Black motorist

Has the mainstream media shifted left?

Has the mainstream media shifted left?

'Media Buzz' host Howard Kurtz examines liberal bias on 'Special Report'

NYC: Birthplace of the Coffee-To-Go Culture?

NYC: Birthplace of the Coffee-To-Go Culture?

Step aside, Seattle. Some say NYC has the better claim