Updated: November 15, 2020 4:25:03 pm
Nearly one-fifth, or 18 in every 100 patients, presented with a psychiatric diagnosis within 14 to 90 days of their Covid-19++++ infection. This is among the key findings of a Oxford University study published in the Lancet on 62,354 people with Covid-19. In fact, instances of Covid-associated psychiatric problems were higher than other respiratory tract infections, infuenza, fracture, or skin infections.
The study found that insomnia, dementia and anxiety disorder were most common among people infected by the coronavirus. Dementia hit harder if a person was aged above 65 years.
“Among anxiety disorders, adjustment disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and, to a lesser extent, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder were the most frequent,” the study found.
The study also looked at whether existing mental health problems put a person at higher risk of Covid-19 infection. The answer is a ringing yes. “Having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in the year before the Covid-19 outbreak was associated with a 65% increased risk of Covid-19,” the study said.
Other groups too have been studying psychiatric post-Covid.
The UK-based CoroNerve group is now compiling data through clinician reports to map neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in Covid cases to provide a larger database.
A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in October says autopsies of deceased Covid-19 patients shows evidence of inflammation in the brain. Neuroimaging studies have detected a neurological disorder called leukoencephalopathy and micro bleed in critical patients.
A study from China after the first wave found 9 per cent of 99 patients studied suffered from a state of confusion. A few months later, JAMA Neurology published another study of 214 patients in China. At least 78 patients were found to have neurologic manifestations. Some studies have also pointed towards cautious use of steroids which act as a double-edged sword and can cause neurophyschiatric problems among patients.x
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