KYIV. UkraineGate . 23 . September . 2022 | Health News.
People who contract COVID-19 are at higher risk of multiple brain injuries a year later than people who have never been infected with the coronavirus, a finding that could affect millions of people.
The year-long study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, assessed brain health in 44 different disorders using the de-identified medical records of millions of US veterans.
Brain and other neurological disorders were 7% more common in those infected with COVID compared to a similar group of veterans who had never been infected.
“The results show the devastating long-term effects of COVID-19,” senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Ali of Washington University School of Medicine said in a statement.
Al-Ali and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine and the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Health System examined the medical records of 154,000 US veterans who tested positive for COVID between March 1, 2020, and January 15, 2021.
They compared this data with records of 5.6 million patients who did not have COVID during the same time period and another group of 5.8 million individuals during the period immediately before the coronavirus appeared in the United States.
Al-Ali said previous studies looked at a narrower group of disorders and focused mainly on hospitalized patients, while his study included both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
Memory disturbances, called “brain fog,” were the most common symptom. Compared to controls, people infected with COVID had a 77% higher risk of developing memory problems.
People infected with the virus were also 50% more likely to have an ischemic stroke caused by blood clots compared to a group that had never been infected.
Those who had COVID were 80% more likely to have seizures, 43% more likely to have mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, 35% more likely to have headaches, and 42% more likely to have movement disorders. such as tremor, versus a control group.
Governments and health systems need to develop plans for life after COVID, the researchers said.
“Given the colossal scale of the pandemic, addressing these challenges requires urgent and coordinated – but so far lacking – global, national and regional response strategies,” Al-Ali said.