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New COVID-19 study from The Lancet Psychiatry journal shows higher risk of brain fog

Published on 19/08/22 at 10:35am

The study also found that adults faced an increased risk of anxiety and depression, but this subsided within two months of illness

 

People who have had COVID-19 face a higher risk of developing neurological and psychiatric conditions including cognitive deficit – known as brain fog – dementia and psychosis as much as two years after infection, a new study has shown.

 

The study – by the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health and Care Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre – was published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, and involved the analysis of data on 14 neurological and psychiatric diagnoses gathered from the TriNetX electronic health records mostly from the US over a two-year period.

 

The researchers identified just under 1.5 million patients with a recorded diagnosis of COVID-19 during the study period between 20 January 2020 and 13 April 2022, 1.28 million of which were matched with an equal number of patients with another respiratory infection.

 

The study found that adults aged 64 and under had a higher risk of brain fog – 640 cases per 10,000 people – compared with those who had other respiratory infections – 550 cases per 10,000 people.

 

It was also reported that adults aged 65 and over who had COVID-19 experienced a higher occurrence of brain fog (1,540 cases per 10,000 people), dementia (450 cases per 10,000 people) and psychotic disorder (85 cases per 10,000 people), compared with those who previously had a different respiratory infection.

 

The study also found that adults faced an increased risk of anxiety and depression, but this subsided within two months of illness, in contrast with the increased risk of psychotic disorder, cognitive deficit, dementia and epilepsy or seizures, which persisted throughout.

 Emily Kimber

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