A study conducted by the San Raffaelle Hospital Center in Italy indicates that more than half of patients who recovered from the coronavirus after hospitalization went on to develop at least one psychological disorder. Some have suffered from post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression or even insomnia.
More than eight months after the first identified case of Covid-19, scientists are still discovering new effects on the human body almost daily. A study carried out at the San Raffaelle Hospital in Milan on 402 patients with the coronavirus found that many of them suffered from several mental disorders after leaving the hospital.
For a month after their recovery, patients were asked to self-assess via a battery of questionnaires on their psychological well-being. A significant proportion (28%) were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, 31% had suffered from depression, 42% anxiety. A fifth of them displayed symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and double that proportion suffered from insomnia.
On average, more than half (56%) of patients suffered from at least one psychological disorder. Women, though they are less likely to die from Covid-19 than men, have been more affected by anxiety and depression.
Inflammation causing the problem
The study also showed that patients affected by these disorders also had abnormally high inflammatory markers. “It immediately became clear that the inflammation caused by the disease could also have repercussions at the psychiatric level,” Prof. Francesco Benedetti, head of the Psychiatry and Psychobiology Research Center at San Raffaelle Hospital, said in a statement.
The researchers therefore recommend “to evaluate the psychopathology of Covid-19 survivors and to deepen research on inflammatory biomarkers” in order to diagnose and treat these psychiatric conditions. Their study was published on July 30 in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.