Study finds ‘Long Covid’ heightens risks for neurological and mental conditions

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Chulalongkorn University lecturer Thira Woratanarat cited a study from Oxford University, published in The Lancet Psychiatry medical journal while the study assessed Long Covid issues from data produced by about 1.3 million people worldwide and evaluated the risks of Long Covid affecting the brain, nervous system, and mental health.

A respected medical lecturer has pointed out findings from a major study on the effects and risks associated with Long Covid. The study found Long Covid is associated with risks of developing neurological and mental conditions.

Chulalongkorn University lecturer Thira Woratanarat wrote about issues with Long Covid on his Facebook page. He cited a study from Oxford University, published in The Lancet Psychiatry medical journal. The study assessed Long Covid issues from data produced by about 1.3 million people worldwide. The study evaluated the risks of Long Covid affecting the brain, nervous system, and mental health.



Assoc. Prof. Thira elaborated on key discoveries brought about by the study. Firstly, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was found to contribute the same Long Covid risks as those presented by the Delta or earlier strains. Said risks are associated with the brain, nervous system, and mental health. Secondly, people who contract COVID-19 are at risk of emotional setbacks such as depression and anxiety. However, said risk will gradually reduce over 2-3 months until it reaches the same level as that for the normal population. Thirdly, the study found that people who contracted Covid face a heightened risk of developing neurological issues. The study determined that said risk prevails over a period of two years. Dr. Thira noted the period might actually be longer than two years if the study is continued into the future.



Dr. Thira said the study is of global interest as it illustrates the significance of Long Covid. He added a wide range of neurological and emotional conditions may arise due to Long Covid and the elevated risks for these conditions may last for more than 2 years.

The medical lecturer said each country needs to come up with support systems for people afflicted with the aforementioned conditions. People who were previously infected should frequently assess their health in terms of cognitive ability, memory, attention span, and emotion. If these do not match the pre-Covid norm, the individual should consult a doctor.

Dr. Thira added that keeping from getting infected with Covid is the best path to take. He said wearing masks correctly is key to this effort. (NNT)