Neurological and psychiatric risk trajectories after SARS-CoV-2 infection: an analysis of 2-year retrospective cohort studies including 1 284 437 patients

Taquet M, Dercon Q, Harrison PJ. Six-month sequelae of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection: A retrospective cohort study of 10,024 breakthrough infections. Brain Behav Immun. 2022 Jul;103:154-162. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2022.04.013. Epub 2022 Apr 18. PMID: 35447302
  • 2-year retrospective cohort studies of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 showed increased incidence of mood and anxiety disorders was transient, with no overall excess of these diagnoses compared with other respiratory infections.
  • In contrast, the increased risk of psychotic disorder, cognitive deficit, dementia, and epilepsy or seizures persisted throughout.
  • The differing trajectories suggest different pathogenesis for these outcomes.
  • Children have a more benign overall profile of psychiatric risk than do adults and older adults, but their sustained higher risk of some diagnoses is of concern. Unlike adults, cognitive deficit in children had a finite risk horizon (75 days) and a finite time to equal incidence (491 days). 
  • The fact that neurological and psychiatric outcomes were similar during the delta and omicron waves indicates that the burden on the healthcare system might continue even with variants that are less severe in other respects.

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