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Research shows that one third of Covid-19 survivors suffer from “brain disease”



According to a study published on Tuesday by The Lancet Psychiatry, they found that 34% of Covid-19 survivors were diagnosed with a neurological or mental illness within six months of infection.

The most common diagnosis is anxiety. Anxiety was found in 17% of patients treated for Covid-19, followed by mood disorders in 14% of patients.

The researchers pointed out that although neurological function is more severe in hospitalized patients, neurological function is still common in patients treated only in outpatient clinics.

Maxime Taquet, an academic clinical researcher in psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said: “As the severity of the Covid-1

9 disease increases, the rate gradually increases. If we look at the hospitalized patients, the rate rises to 39. %.” Co-author of this new study.

Researchers say these results have paved the way for the medical system to continue to help Covid-19 survivors.

Taquet added: “Our results show that even when patients are matched with other risk factors, brain diseases and mental illnesses after Covid-19 are more common than influenza or other respiratory infections. We now need to observe six What will happen in the next month.”

Covid-19 is called “encephalopathy”

This is the largest study to date, involving electronic health records of more than 236,000 Covid-19 patients, most of which are in the United States. The researchers compared their records with people who experienced other respiratory infections in the same time frame.

They observed that compared with people with flu, people with Covid-19 had a 44% increased risk of neurological diseases and mental illness. Compared with people with other respiratory infections, they are 16% more likely to have these effects.

Approximately 1 in 50 Covid-19 patients suffers from ischemic stroke, a blood clot that affects the brain.

Doctor: My Covid patient has been recovering for a long time. This sounds familiar

However, Covid-19 does not necessarily increase the risk of neurological diseases.

Tarquette said: “Two important negative findings are related to Parkinson’s disease and Guillain-Barré syndrome.” “Both diseases are neurological diseases that we are sometimes associated with viral infections. We didn’t find them in They became more common after Covid-19 and other respiratory infections we studied.”

Dr. Musa Sami, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Nottingham, believes that this study is important partly because of the large number of patient records that researchers can analyze.

He said in a statement: “This is a large study and a strong work that proves the link between Covid-19 and mental illness and neurological complications.” “This is a very important topic. , Because people are very shocked that Covid-19 is regarded as a’brain disease’.”

Post-Covid PTSD: The storm after the storm

Sami, who has nothing to do with this study, emphasized that it is necessary to further study how Covid-19 affects the brain and nervous system. He said: “Psychological stress, longer hospital stays and the characteristics of the disease itself may be part of it.”

One clue: The study’s co-author, Masood Hussein, professor of neurology and cognitive science at Oxford University, said that psychological symptoms are more common than serious neurological complications.

He said: “In fact, people with serious illnesses have a higher risk of neurological complications, and unlike mental health complications, they have a higher severity.”

Other smaller studies also pointed out the results. A February study followed 381 patients treated for Covid-19 in a hospital in Rome, Italy, and found that 30% of them experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after recovery.
Some Covid-19 long-distance transporters say that the vaccine may be alleviating their symptoms.Researchers are studying it
A study published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice in December showed that even in some moderate cases, Covid-19 can cause seizures and movement disorders.

Covid-19’s long-term burden on the health system

Paul Harrison, professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study, said that the limitation of the Lancet psychiatry study is that it uses “routine health care data” rather than research data.

This may mean that the diagnosis is missing, that they have not been fully investigated, or that they are incorrect.

And just being diagnosed may make a difference.

“Compared with patients with respiratory infections, patients with Covid-1919 are more likely to undergo neurological and psychiatric diagnosis because they have received more follow-up and more medical care. This may explain some of our differences Tarquette said at the press conference that we have observed house prices.

But despite this, the study still provides a comprehensive understanding of the long-term burden that the influenza pandemic has placed on people who have been hit.

Harrison said: “Although the individual risk of most diseases is small, because of the scale of the pandemic and many of these diseases are chronic, the impact on the health and social care system of the entire population may be huge.” “Therefore. , It is necessary to allocate resources to the health care system in primary and secondary health care services to meet the expected demand.”


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