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Coronavirus: One-third COVID survivors report neurological, mental health disorders, as per study

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 8th April, 2021 08:04:09 PM
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For over a year now, COVID-19 has continued to impact our life in the worst way possible. It has not only disrupted our physical health, but also taken a toll on our mental well-being. Apart from the ailments associated with the deadly disease, doctors and medical professionals have also shed light upon the growing cases of mental disorders and anxiety caused by the novel coronavirus. That said, a recent study has reported that recovered COVID patients are likely to develop neurological disorders.

Can COVID-19 cause neurological disorders post-recovery?

COVID-19 is not only a respiratory illness, but it can also impact other parts of the body. The lingering symptoms can leave a lasting imprint on a person's physical and mental well-being. COVID survivors have often complained of experiencing mild to severe inflammations, strokes and seizures in the brain.

Individuals who have recovered from the infection have also complained of experiencing mental confusion, headaches, dizziness and blurred vision during and after the course of their recovery. This in turn suggests that neurological disorders such as anxiety and mood swings are also prevalent in most recovered patients.

The study

According to a recent research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, 1 in 3 Covid-19 patients who had recovered from the infection were diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric disorders.

The study, led by Oxford University researchers, analysed the data of 2,36,379 patients in the United States of America for a period of six months. It included individuals older than 10 years old who had tested positive for the virus after 20 January 2020. The data was then compared with the health records of 1,05,579 patients diagnosed with influenza and 2,36,038 patients diagnosed with other respiratory tract infections.

The researchers concluded that 34% of the coronavirus patients involved in the study showed signs of neurological or mental health disorder six months after infection. While 17% of the patients came up with anxiety disorders, 14% were diagnosed with mood disorders. Apart from that, 7% of the individuals were prone to substance misuse disorders, and 5% with insomnia.

Who is more prone to developing mental disorders?

The study also highlights the increased neurological risk in severe COVID patients.

It was found that those who had suffered severe COVID infections were more prone to neurological or psychiatric diagnosis.

According to professor Paul Harrison, lead author of the study from the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, while the psychiatric conditions were more common amongst the patients, the neurological conditions were more significant, especially in those who had severe Covid-19.

However, another co-author of the study, Max Taquet said, “We now need to see what happens beyond six months. The study cannot reveal the mechanisms involved, but does point to the need for urgent research to identify these, with a view to preventing or treating them."

(Times of India)