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Six months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, 1 in 3 patients also had experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness, mostly mood disorders but also strokes or dementia, a large new study shows.

About 1 in 8 of the patients (12.8%) were diagnosed for the first time with such an illness, most commonly anxiety or depression. Compared to control groups of people who had the flu or other non-Covid respiratory infections, first-ever neuropsychiatric diagnoses were almost twice as high.

The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry, used real-world health data on millions of people to gauge the incidence of 13 brain disorders. Anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders were most common, but the researchers also found worrying, if lower, rates of serious neurological complications, especially in patients who had been severely ill with Covid-19. In all Covid-19 patients, 0.6% developed a  brain hemorrhage, 2.1% an ischemic stroke, and 0.7% dementia. 


“We need urgent research to better understand how and why does this occur in patients with Covid-19 and how they can be treated and [how to] prevent it,” Max Taquet, a clinical fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford and a study co-author, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. “But we think that regardless of the explanation, health services need to be prepared for the increased demand that this data is showing.” 

The size of the study lends confidence to its findings, which confirm what has been hinted in smaller studies, including earlier work from the Oxford group. The researchers analyzed electronic health records of 81 million U.S. patients (both insured and uninsured), finding 236,379 people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 and comparing them to three cohorts of similar people: one cohort had the flu, another had another respiratory illness such as sinusitis or pneumonia, and one cohort included people who were hospitalized for unrelated conditions such as bone fractures or gallstones. The researchers hoped that comparing the Covid group to the others would help isolate Covid-19 as a cause and tease out its effects on the brain. 


After accounting for patients’ age, sex, ethnicity, and existing health conditions, patients overall had a 44% higher risk of neurological and mental health diagnoses after Covid-19 than after flu, and a 16% higher risk after Covid-19 than after other respiratory tract infections. 

There were two exceptions: The researchers did not see increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorder, or Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a rare disorder that shows up after some viral infections as tingling and weakness when the immune system attacks nerves.

Allison Navis, assistant professor in the division of neuro-infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, sounded a note of caution. The lead clinical neurologist at Mount Sinai’s post-Covid clinic, she was not involved in the Lancet study.  

“It does highlight that there is something unique going on with Covid,” she told STAT. “And the 12.8% who have a new diagnosis of something neuropsychiatric can sound very sensational. That 12.8% encompasses depression and anxiety, so it’s extremely important to not minimize that and not make that sound like a lesser diagnosis at all, but the more severe things like strokes are still fairly uncommon. I don’t want people thinking that 1 in 10 people get a stroke with Covid.”

The new study reinforces previous research that showed some brain disorders increased with the severity of illness, going up in people who needed to be hospitalized and rising further in people who needed intensive care. While 33.6% of people developed a neuropsychiatric illness overall, that risk grew to 46.4% among Covid patients treated in an ICU.

What’s new is the distinction between neurological and psychiatric complications. People with very severe Covid-19 had a higher risk of complications like stroke or dementia, but people who developed anxiety or depression spanned the spectrum of illness severity. 

While the study did not examine the mechanisms that might explain neuropsychiatric disorders associated with the virus, the authors did speculate in the call with reporters that if patients know that they have Covid-19, that and other stressors might contribute to a psychiatric illness. “It could be psychological factors and biological factors and psychosocial factors, such as, for instance, the need to isolate and the loss of income as a result of that,” Taquet said. 

It’s easier to tie neurological disorders to the virus’ effects on the brain. Scientists believe the virus can enter the brain through the olfactory bulb, where taste and smell are decoded. Inflammation throughout the body also harms blood vessels in the brain, and can lead to stroke-causing blood clots, delirium, or dementia.

While the medical records could tell the researchers whether someone had previously suffered a stroke or been diagnosed with dementia, they couldn’t surmise whether someone was going to have a recurrence anyway or whether Covid-19 caused it, Masud Husain, professor of neurology and cognitive neuroscience at Oxford and a study co-author, warned. Longer follow-up will be needed to answer that question, but the signal was too strong to ignore, he said. 

Husain also cautioned that the numbers they reported could be an underestimate if they don’t include people who were infected with Covid but did not test positive for it, or if people had no symptoms that drove them to seek medical care. On the flip side, patients with Covid-19 might be more likely to have a neurological and psychiatric disorder diagnosed simply because they were receiving more medical attention compared to patients with the flu or other respiratory infections, Taquet pointed out.

This was not a study of long-Covid, said Paul Harrison, professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford and a study co-author, referring to the constellation of lingering symptoms that overlap with some problems caused by the neuropsychiatric illnesses described in the current paper. But the need for more research and continued clinical care is the same.

“Sadly, many of the disorders identified in this study tend to be chronic or recurrent, so we can anticipate that the impact of Covid-19 could be with us for many years,” Jonathan Rogers and Anthony David of University College London wrote in a commentary appearing with the Lancet study. 

  • Don’t believe any lame stream media article on covid!! ALL LIES!! People are now dying and having horrific side effects from their serum from hell vaccine. The Demonic media just toss those numbers into the blame covid articles and news reports!!

  • I had the virus in January
    Other than being tired and my taste being off I had no other symptoms. I currently feel back to normal with no ongoing problems. I don’t understand how some people are on their deathbed and others have little to symptoms I have never heard of any other sickness like this

    • the reason is it was designed in a lab by china, University of N.Carolina, Gates, Fauci, Rothchilds, Soros, and other globalist. IT targets certain dna structures from certain haplo groups. in a word “EVIL” it is a genocide technology that has not even accomplished its greatest power yet. that will not come until after the shots are given. its about to get a lot worse by many qualified Drs. opinions.

  • I love Elizabeth Cooney frame of mind keep writing and I’ll keep reading

  • Do read Hillary Johnson’s Brilliant book, “Osler’s Web” to see how this neuropsychiatric post viral disease will play out in the years and decades ahead.

    People damned with the “diagnosis” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)) by the US CDC have “lived” lives of total and complete disability without research funding by any of the world’s governments, most especially the US and UK. Indeed, everything possible has been done to hide neurophysiological symptoms and all other symptoms that attack the entire rest of the body (eg gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, unrelenting pain, and much more).

    You can turn to Fauci and other US/UK “researchers” to see how much a filthy role they All played in covering up ME/CFS for the past 40 years. So. To all those with the expected constellation of symptoms associated with post COVID-19, good luck. Governments, companies, insurance industries etc. Will all work hard to label the decades of coming bed-bound disabled as nothing more than “lazy, crazy, malingering people” and left to suffer.

    Google ME/CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Osler’s Web, and read the future of those who have been ill with Covid. The years and decades ahead will be an epic horror show.

  • There is so little we know still, of the covid. I’m curious as to weather the patients in the study had been vaccinated, or if there will be a continued study, after people are vaccinated, to see if the symptoms get worse, stay the same, or no change.
    Just a thought.

  • “It’s easier to tie neurological disorders to the virus’ effects on the brain.”

    That seems like a very bold statement, considering the quote from Taquet just above it, which reasonably states that there are other possible factors that could contribute to the development of psychological disorders. The writer of this article basically dismisses Taquet’s statement as baseless speculation and says that it’s far more plausible that COVID is causing mental illness, not the lockdowns.

    Don’t get me wrong; there’s a compelling argument that one could make for the rare occurrences like strokes resulting from the virus’ effect on the brain. However, to make a sweeping statement that there is a causal link between all psychological disorders found in recovered COVID-19 patients and the virus itself is irresponsible fear-mongering, which begets more anxiety and yet more hopelessness, and that brings me to the main point I wanted to make.

    Anxiety and depression are on the rise anyway due to both mass-media COVID hysteria and restrictive governmental response. When you are isolated in your home with little social interaction, you are likely to develop feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Add in the media’s sensationalist, doom-and-gloom coverage of the virus, and you get more feelings of fear and dread. If the situation causing these feelings is perpetuated for months without an end in sight, you may end up developing a disorder. If you already have a disorder, it could be exacerbated.

    It’s incredibly reductionistic to make as though all ailments of the mind are the result of strictly material causes and not environmental factors.

    • Thank you! I agree 100% with your comments. With leaders that want American citizens to live in fear and to be isolated from others, it becomes extremely easy to persuade people to eat the poisoned apple (CoVid vaccine) and cram their racist rhetoric down our throats. CoVid was a “plandemic,” and it was the first step for the radical left to implement its socialist ideology. This is NOT the time to be silent!

  • Interesting , so even if you get the vaccine, you can still get covid and risk getting neurological issues, I hope they figure out why , my son is an epileptic, so he’ll always be at risk , I had covid a mild case had headaches after the covid and tasteless and fatigue after the covid took two months later to stop having issues , but have a colon issue now that I didn’t before and it triggered my Epstein Barr , like to say thank you to the idiots who messed with covid-SARS-Influenza and caused this horrible mess grrrr

    • Paula i have heard of great strides from heavy metal damage and seizures, with heavy metal detox and hemp extracts. GlobalHealing Center, Com, carries many great natural detox. and Washington’sReserve.Com carries a very high quality hemp extract. I would ask that you spread this info as well. is a board certified Dr that is warning that the so called vaccine that is being given has no ability to reverse the effects of its gene therapy. once taken it is done and goes to work on your cells. The only thing one can do at that point is hope that the Body that God made can overcome this designed and orchestrated attack on it! Have a blessed day! Jesus Has Risen

    • I can relate to this article. I had the virus for 9 days back in March 2020 with terrible headache loss of taste and loss of energy, and pulsing tinnitus.
      I still have a ringing in my ear so I went for mri of brain and it shows mini stroke. Heading to the neurologist this week to get more details

  • I had COVID over the summer and am totally fine just like 99% of the people who have had it. I have a horrible disease called Mastocytosis that is like COVID on steroids (easily go into Anaphylaxis due to Cytokine release from mast cells…Cytokine storm is what kills COVID patients) so I was concerned about it. I take care of myself and I was fine. My whole family got it and we’re fine. What’s most likely causing the depression is the lock downs. You don’t go into lock down for the flu (hence the logical difference). My brother committed suicide on Halloween 2020 due to a previous mental disorder and the lockdowns. The lockdowns are worse than the disease.

    • could not agree more. the lockdowns and the constant borage of mind bending info by the complicit main stream media! Is it real, yes! is it deadly? that remains to be seen since to this very day they have not isolated the virus aka COVID19, but they have stopped recording flu deaths and pneumonia deaths and other respiratory and related deaths and have put those deaths in the COVID19 column. MY opinion is if you do not do legit honorable truthful research then how and why should we believe them?

  • I’m hoping they got approval from the 81 million people whose EHR’s they went through. That’s my only concern. This is a powerful study. I’ve been looking for some statistics.

  • May and Anna – you are dead-wrong. Anna : the Covid vaccines have proven at least 70% (often greater) efficacy. May : polio went away because people ARE getting a shot for it – and it is enormous global poli-vaccine inoculation drives that has now almost eradicated it. Before you opine, do some real research.

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