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Study Shows Increased Risk of Neurological Disorders Following COVID-19 Infection

Categories: COVID-19 Resources, Living with Brain Injury, Research

A study recently published in The Lancet, a psychiatry journal, found that previous infections of COVID-19 are associated with an increased risk of neurological disorders. The authors compared the health data of over 1.2 million patients with a recorded COVID-19 diagnosis and an equal number of patients with a non-COVID respiratory infection. Analysis showed a substantial difference in risk trajectories of in the cohort with a prior COVID-19 infection.

“Risks of the common psychiatric disorders returned to baseline after 1–2 months (mood disorders at 43 days, anxiety disorders at 58 days) and subsequently reached an equal overall incidence to the matched comparison group (mood disorders at 457 days, anxiety disorders at 417 days),” the study reports. “By contrast, risks of cognitive deficit (known as brain fog), dementia, psychotic disorders, and epilepsy or seizures were still increased at the end of the 2-year follow-up period.”

The study found the increased risk for neurological disorder was the same for different COVID-19 variants, including both the delta and most recent omicron variants.

“The fact that neurological and psychiatric outcomes were similar during the delta and omicron waves indicates that the burden on the health- care system might continue even with variants that are less severe in other respects.”

The study is available on The Lancet’s website.