October 6, 2022

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Covid, from anxiety to cognitive fog: The risk of two-year disruptions from infection

The People who have recovered from Covid-19 still face an increased risk of developing certain neuropsychiatric disorders for up to two years after infection.. That’s what emerged from a maxi study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, of more than 1.25 million people diagnosed with Covid. The scientists – Paul Harrison, lead author from the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues – looked at participants’ medical records and specifically noted a higher risk of developing conditions such as psychosis, dementia and the now known “cognitive fog”, convulsions, in the two years following Covid, Compared to other respiratory diseases. An increased risk of anxiety and depression has also been found in adults, but it disappears within two months of infection, and over the next two years, this risk does not appear to be more likely than after other respiratory infections.

alternative Delta has been found to be associated with more perturbations than the previous alpha variant. Omicron appears to be associated with neurological and psychiatric risks similar to that of Delta. The authors note that children were more likely to have conditions such as seizures and psychotic disorders, but that the likelihood of most post-Covid diagnoses was lower than that of adults. In light of the findings, researchers are calling for more resources and support for health care professionals in diagnosing and managing these disorders.

An earlier study by the same group had already highlighted this increased risk of post-Covid problems also affecting the mind. But so far, no large-scale data have been available for a longer period of time, and there has been no analysis of how risk changes as new variables emerge. “The results of the ‘latest study’ have important implications for patients and health services – explains Harrison – as they suggest. It is likely that new cases of neurological disorders associated with Covid infection will occur long after the epidemic has subsided. Our work also highlights the need for more research to understand why this occurs and what can be done to prevent or treat these conditions.”

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The study analyzed data from 14 neuropsychiatric diagnoses collected from electronic health records, mostly from the United States, over a two-year period. 1,284,437 people were found to have a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection as of January 20, 2020 and were included in the study. Of these, 185,748 are children and young people under the age of 18. Those who recovered from Covid were matched with an equal number of patients with other respiratory infections as a control group.

Among the results appeared for example that In the more than 65 years with Covid contracted until two years before that, there was a rise in ‘brain fog’ cases (1,540 cases per 10,000 people), dementia (450 cases per 10,000 people) and psychotic disorders (85 cases per 10,000 people) compared to those who previously had a different respiratory infection (1,230 cases out of 10,000 due to ‘brain fog’) 330 out of 10,000 cases of dementia and 60 out of 10,000 cases of psychotic disorder). Among the children, 260 cases of seizures were observed per 10,000 children for the Covid group and 130 cases per 10,000 for the control group, and 18 cases of psychotic disorders per 10,000 children for the Covid group compared to 6 cases per 10,000 for the group. control, in the two years following infection.