Millions of people who have had Covid-19 are still at higher risk of neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as brain fog, dementia and psychosis, two years after their illness compared to those who have had other respiratory infections, according to the largest study. of its kind
They also face an increased risk of anxiety and depression, the research suggests, but this diminishes within two months of having Covid-19. For two years, the risk is no more likely than after other respiratory infections. The findings are published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
Almost 600 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported worldwide since the start of the pandemic, and there is growing evidence that people who survive the disease face an increased risk of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Previous studies have found that people face an increased risk of various neurological and mental health conditions in the first six months after infection. To date, however, there have been no large-scale data examining the risks over a longer period of time. The new study, from the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, looked at 1.28 million cases of Covid-19 over two years.
Dr Max Taquet, who led the analyzes at the University of Oxford, said: “The findings shed new light on the long-term consequences for people’s mental and brain health after infection with Covid- 19. The findings have implications for patients and health services and highlight the need for further research to understand why this happens after Covid-19 and what can be done to prevent or treat these disorders when they do.”
The study analyzed data on 14 neurological and psychiatric diagnoses from electronic health records, mostly from the US. It found that in adults the risk of depression or anxiety increased after Covid-19, but returned to the same as with other respiratory infections within about two months.
However, the risk of some other neurological and mental health conditions remained higher after Covid-19 than for other respiratory infections at the end of the two-year follow-up.
Adults aged 64 and younger who had Covid-19 had a higher risk of brain fog (640 cases per 10,000 people) compared to those with other respiratory infections (550 cases per 10,000 people).
In those over 65 who had Covid-19, there was a higher incidence of brain fog (1,540 cases per 10,000 people), dementia (450 cases per 10,000 people) and psychotic disorders (85 cases per 10,000 people) compared with those who previously had a different respiratory infection (1,230 cases per 10,000 for brain fog, 330 cases per 10,000 for dementia and 60 cases per 10,000 for psychotic disorder).
Results in children showed similarities and differences with adults. The likelihood of most diagnoses after Covid-19 was lower than in adults, and they were no more at risk of anxiety or depression than children who had other respiratory infections. However, like adults, children recovering from Covid-19 were more likely to be diagnosed with some conditions, including seizures and psychotic disorders.
More neurological and psychiatric disorders were observed during the Delta variant wave than with the earlier Alpha variant. The Omicron wave was linked to neurological and psychiatric risks similar to Delta.
The researchers cautioned that there were some important limitations to consider. The study may under-represent self-diagnosed and asymptomatic cases of Covid-19, as they are unlikely to be recorded. It also did not look at the severity or duration of conditions after Covid-19 and how they compare to other respiratory infections.
Professor Paul Harrison, who led the study at the University of Oxford, said: “It is good news that the over-diagnosis of depression and anxiety following Covid-19 is short-lived and not “he observes in children. However, it is worrying that some other disorders, such as dementia and seizures, remain more likely to be diagnosed after Covid-19, even two years later.”
#Covid #linked #high #longterm #risk #brain #fog #dementia