Study: Many people infected with COVID-19 have long-term mental health symptoms

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CINCINNATI —

A new study shows many people infected with COVID-19 have long-term mental health symptoms.

Researchers are finding about one in three COVID-19 survivors had neurological or psychological issues long after getting sick.

The study was published in the journal, Lancet Psychiatry. It is the largest study of its kind, involving the medical records of more than 200,000 COVID-19 patients.

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

The neurological effects are most severe in hospitalized patients but still exist in those that experienced more mild symptoms.

Researchers found that those with COVID had a 44% increased risk for neurological and psychiatric illness compared to people recovering from the flu.

Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, & Neuroscience, Dr. Henry Nasrallah, calls the findings unsurprising because many viruses do cause an inflammatory response to the brain, which can trigger things like depression, anxiety, PTSD etc.

He said out of the total number of patients that developed a brain disorder, 20% already had one before, while the other 13% did not.

Doctors said these findings just reiterate how crucial it is to keep seeing your primary care provider even after you've recovered from COVID-19.


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