One in eight people who have had COVID-19 are diagnosed with psychiatric or neurological illness within six months of testing positive for the virus, a new study states.
The survivors did not have those conditions prior to their COVID-19 infection.
The study, published online in medRxiv, states that using International Classification of Diseases-10, in the six months after a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, physicians diagnosed intracranial haemorrhage, ischaemic stroke, Parkinsonism, Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve/nerve root/plexus disorders, myoneural/muscle disease, encephalitis, dementia, mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders, substance misuse, and insomnia among survivors.
medRxiv is an internet site distributing unpublished e-prints about health sciences. It distributes complete but unpublished manuscripts in the areas of medicine, clinical research, and related health sciences without charge to the reader.
Study authors, led by Maxime Taquet of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said their discovery was an addition to the emerging body of evidence that stresses the toll of the virus on mental health.
The analysis – which is still to be peer-reviewed – also found that those figures rose to one in three when patients with a previous history of psychiatric or neurological illnesses were included.
It found that one in nine patients were also diagnosed with health conditions such as depression or stroke, despite not having gone to hospital when they had COVID-19.
The researchers used electronic health records to evaluate 236,379 hospitalised and non-hospitalised US patients who survived the viral infection, comparing them with a group diagnosed with influenza, and a cohort diagnosed with respiratory tract infections between January 20 and December 13, 2020.
The analysis, which accounted for known risk factors such as age, sex, race, underlying physical and mental conditions and socio-economic deprivation, found that the incidence of neurological or psychiatric conditions after surviving COVID-19 within six months was 33.6 percent. Nearly 13 percent received their first such diagnosis.
The data adds to prior research by Taquet and others that showed nearly one in five people who have had COVID-19 are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within three months of testing positive for the virus.
In the latest analysis, the researchers found that most diagnoses were more common after COVID-19, than after influenza or other respiratory infections – including stroke, acute bleeding inside the skull or brain, dementia, and psychotic disorders.
Overall, COVID-19 was associated with increased risk of these diagnoses, but the incidence was greater in patients who required hospital treatment, and markedly so in those who developed brain disease.
The question was how long these conditions might persist after diagnosis, said Taquet. “I don’t think we have an answer to that question yet.”
He added: “For diagnoses like a stroke or an intracranial bleed, the risk does tend to decrease quite dramatically within six months, but for a few neurological and psychiatric diagnoses, we don’t have the answer about when it’s going to stop.”
The UK Guardian reports that a psychiatrist and clinical lecturer at King’s College hospital, Dr. Tim Nicholson, who was not involved in the analysis, said the findings would help steer researchers in the direction of which neurological and psychiatric complications required further careful study.
“I think particularly this raises a few disorders up the list of interests, particularly dementia and psychosis … and pushes a few a bit further down the list of potential importance, including Guillain-Barré syndrome.”
The post Mental illness, brain disorder seen among COVID-19 survivors -Study appeared first on Healthwise.