One-third of COVID-19 survivors left with mental disorders

Posted at 10:16 AM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 11:16:54-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The new findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, found one in three coronavirus survivors were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months of testing positive.

Doctor Lauren Edwards, an anxiety specialist at Nebraska Medicine, said there is still so much unknown that it's hard to treat patients with long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms.

"It showed up to a third of patients may have neuropsychiatric symptoms but we don't know what the mechanism is. Is it inflammatory or is it something else? So I don't know if someone presenting with an anxiety disorder for the first time after COVID is going to respond to the type of treatment I would typically offer first line," said Dr. Lauren Edwards, anxiety specialist at Nebraska Medicine.

The study analyzed the health records of more than 230,000 COVID-19 patients.

Of the 34% that were diagnosed with a neurological illness within six months, 17% experienced new anxiety, 14% experienced new mood disorders, 7% had a stroke within six months and 2% were diagnosed with dementia.

Dr. Edwards said there is some good indication people get better, but it can take a while.

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