Over a third of COVID-19 survivors experience a neurological or mental-health condition in the 6 months after infection, a large-scale study finds
- One in three people with
COVID-19had neurological or mental healthconditions in the six months following illness in a new study.
- Anxiety and mood disorders were the most common following COVID-19.
- People with severe illness were at highest risk of rarer neurological complications, the study found.
One in three people infected with COVID-19 develop a neurological or mental-health condition in the six months after, a large study published in Lancet Psychiatry on Wednesday found.
Diagnoses for these conditions were on average 44% more common after COVID-19 than after flu, and the risk increased with the severity of illness, particularly for
Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University and lead author of the study, told Insider that he expected there to be overlap with long-COVID, whereby people experience COVID-19 symptoms including neurological features and mental health conditions for a number of months after the illness. But he said whether long COVID-19 was more common after severe illness, versus mild, was still unclear."We need urgent research to understand how and why the disorders occur and how they can be treated and prevented," Harrison and his fellow authors said in a press briefing.
Symptoms included anxiety and brain bleeds
The most common mental health conditions in the six months after catching COVID-19 were anxiety and mood disorders: 17% of people were diagnosed with anxiety, and 14% of people with a mood disorder, the study found.The risk of both anxiety and mood disorder increased in patients who got unwell with an altered mental state known as encephalopathy, a sign of systemic infection to 22%. But generally the severity of COVID-19 illness didn't impact the likelihood of a mental health condition. Neurological complications like stroke, brain bleeds, and dementia were less common. People with severe COVID-19 were at highest risk - 4% of those who were hospitalized and 7% of people that went to ITU were diagnosed with stroke six months after.
Paul Harrison, lead author of the study, said in a statement Tuesday that the results, "confirm the high rates of psychiatric diagnoses after COVID-19, and show that serious disorders affecting the nervous system (such as stroke and dementia) occur too."
Harrison added: "While the latter are much rarer, they are significant, especially in those who had severe COVID-19."Read more: COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: AstraZeneca's shot proves safe and effective, and is headed to the FDA
An expert says the report 'confirms our suspicions' that COVID-19 will have psychiatric repercussions
It is too early to make definitive statements or identify the specific mechanisms by which the
The study authors said in a press briefing Tuesday that it was likely to be different mechanisms at play affecting the different disorders. Mental health conditions could be influenced by the effects of the pandemic too, they said.It was also not clear whether people predisposed to certain conditions were at higher risk - the study found just 13% people overall were diagnosed with a neurological or mental health illness for the first time.
- Revolut starts India operations, appoints former Lendingkart, Flipkart executive Paroma Chatterjee as CEO
- Top 10 longest sixes in IPL matches from 2008 to till date
- OPINION: Regulation of games of skill under a central legislative regime is the need of the hour
- OPINION: Why weekend lockdowns and night curfews aren't the only solution to India's surging cases of COVID-19
- Haryana government declares summer vacation in schools due to spike in COVID-19 cases