Research that analyzed a total of 236,379 Covid19 survivors has found that one third of them were diagnosed with brain or psychiatric problems within six months, prompting fears of a pandemic-borne wave of these disorders.
The study results were published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, and followed up on the researchers’ findings last year that indicated 20% of survivors developed psychological disorders within three months.
Among the different psychological conditions the study checked for, anxiety and depression were the most common.
Anxiety and mood disorders had rates of 17% and 14% respectively, but did not seem to have a clear correlation to Covid19 severity.
How the virus is linked to anxiety and depression remains unknown.
On the other hand, stroke cases as well as other neurological issues such as dementia, occurred less frequently but were still significant particularly in survivors of severe Covid19.
Among Covid19 infections that required intensive care, 7% experienced a stroke in a span of six months, while almost 2% developed dementia.
The researchers compared the instances of disorders to records of individuals that had recovered from a flu or other respiratory infections and noted significant differences due to Covid19.
Health experts have expressed concern over the recent findings.
Simon Wesley, chair of psychiatry at King’s College in London, noted the importance of the paper, saying that it “confirms beyond any reasonable doubt” that Covid19 impacts both mind and brain equally.
Chief executive of the MQ Mental Health research charity Lea Milligan stated that the findings contributed to increasing mental illnesses and must be researched further.