LONDON (Reuters) – A third of the COVID-19 survivors in the study of more than 230,000 American patients were diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease or psychiatry within six months, suggesting that the outbreak could lead to an epidemic. Into the mental and nervous system problems on Tuesday.
The researchers who analyzed said it was not clear how the virus was linked to psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression. But these were the most common diagnoses of the 14 disorders they examined.
Researchers say that it is more rare that patients with dementia, dementia and other neurological disorders after COVID-19 develop. But it is still important, especially in people with severe COVID-19 infection.
“Although the personal risk for most anomalies is small. But the impact of the entire population could be huge, ”said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University who co-led the event.
Max Taquet, an Oxford psychiatrist working with Harrison, noted that the study was unable to examine the underlying biological or psychological mechanisms involved. But urgent research is needed to identify these “prevention or treatment”.
Health professionals are increasingly concerned with evidence of a higher risk of brain and mental disorders in COVID-19 survivors, an earlier study by the same researchers last year found that 20%. Of COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within three months.
The new findings, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, analyzed the health records of 236,379 COVID-19 patients, most of them from the United States, and found that 34% were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric disorder within six months.
The disorder was more common in COVID-19 patients than a comparison of those who recovered from flu or other respiratory infections during the same period, suggesting that COVID-19 had a specific effect.
Anxiety was 17% and mood disorders at 14% were the most common and did not appear to be related to the severity or severity of the patients’ COVID-19 infection.
Among those admitted to intensive care with severe COVID-19 infection, 7% had a stroke within 6 months and nearly 2% were diagnosed with dementia.
Independent experts said the findings were worrisome.
“This is a very important paper. It is without a reasonable doubt that COVID-19 affects both the brain and the mind on equal measure, ”said Simon Wessely, chair of psychiatry at King’s College London.
“The impact of COVID-19 on individual mental health can be severe,” said Lea Milligan, chief executive of mental health research charity MQ. It already depends and needs more urgent research. “
Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise