Study: Covid-19 raises risk of depression and dementia

Covid-19 raises risk of depression and dementia, study suggests
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Daily US Times: Researchers have found that people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the previous six months were more likely to develop psychosis, depression, dementia and stroke.

A third of those with a previous Covid infection went on to develop or have a relapse of a neurological and psychological condition.

But those admitted to hospital or in ICU had an even higher risk.

This is likely to be down to both the effects of stress, and the disease having a direct impact on the brain.

Scientists in the UK looked at the electronic medical records of more than half a million patients in the US, and their chances of developing one of 14 common neurological or psychological conditions, including:

  • psychosis
  • mood disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • brain haemorrhage
  • stroke
  • Parkinson’s
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • dementia

The researchers explained that mood disorders and anxiety were the most common diagnosis among those who suffered Covid, and these were more likely to be down to the stress of the experience of being very ill or taken to hospital.

Conditions like dementia and stroke were more likely to be down to the biological impacts of the virus itself, or of the body’s reaction to infection in general.

Covid-19 was not associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s or Guillain-Barré syndrome (a risk from flu), the scientists said.

The study was observational, so the researchers could not say whether Covid-19 had caused any of the diagnoses – and some people would have had a stroke or depression in the next six months regardless.

You may read: A third of Covid-19 survivors suffer ‘brain disease,’ study shows