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Study: COVID-19 survivors have increased risk of neurological, psychiatric illness

Researchers observed that those with COVID-19 had a 44% increased risk for neurological and psychiatric illness compared to people recovering from other respiratory conditions like the flu

Coronavirus Pandemic

This image provided by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)

A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry revealed that one-third of individuals who survived COVID-19 have long-term neurological symptoms. 

The study, published Tuesday, examined the “effects of COVID-19 on brain health.” 

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It concluded that COVID-19 was “associated with increased risk of neurological and psychiatric outcomes.” 

The study’s authors learned that the risk of stroke and dementia was elevated due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

They also found a connection between COVID-19, anxiety and mood disorders. 

According to CNN, this study is the largest of its kind and involved 236,000 COVID-19 patients. 

Researchers observed that those with COVID-19 had a 44% increased risk for neurological and psychiatric illness than people recovering from other respiratory conditions like the flu. 

Similar studies on COVID-19 and its relationship with neurological disorders have been conducted in the past. 

study titled Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Patients After Severe COVID-19 Infection was published in JAMA Psychiatry in February. 

This study evaluated 381 White patients who recovered from COVID-19. Out of this group, 30% were found to have PTSD, while others suffered from anxiety and psychotic disorders. 

Another study, published in the Journal Neurology: Clinical Practice in December, revealed that neurological complications could occur even in moderate cases of COVID-19. 

A limitation of the Lancet Psychiatry study is its use of routine healthcare data instead of research data, CNN reported. 

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