Study: Depression and anxiety disorders increase risk of post-Covid syndrome

If the Covid test is negative but the symptoms simply won't subside, then this is referred to as post-Covid syndrome.

Study: Depression and anxiety disorders increase risk of post-Covid syndrome

If the Covid test is negative but the symptoms simply won't subside, then this is referred to as post-Covid syndrome. Fatigue, lack of concentration and headaches are part of the repertoire of the syndrome, which includes a total of 200 symptoms.

It is not yet clear what exactly leads to the fact that some people have to struggle with Covid symptoms for weeks while others hardly feel anything of the disease. However, a recent study provides evidence of a risk factor: our psyche.

A research team from Essen University Medicine and the University of Duisburg-Essen has come to the conclusion that people who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, for example, have an increased risk of developing post-Covid.

As part of the study published in the journal "Neurology and Therapy", the scientists analyzed 171 patients with post-Covid syndrome. During the investigation, the researchers primarily looked at the neurological characteristics of the participants.

The good news: No neurological abnormalities were found in 86 percent of those affected. And only two percent of the participants developed long-Covid-Syndrome. For everyone else, the symptoms went away after a few weeks.

According to the study, however, those who already have psychological problems in advance have an increased risk of post-Covid. "It has been known for centuries that body and mind form a unit and that excessive stress, mental conflict or depression can be expressed in physical complaints," said Christoph Kleinschnitz, Director of the Clinic for Neurology at the University Hospital Essen, at the presentation the study.

It is therefore only logical that people with a previous mental illness tend to develop symptoms such as memory disorders, tiredness or headaches. In this case, however, a neurological examination is always advisable, because post-Covid is not always the cause.

"We experienced a few surprises. In the end, we found multiple sclerosis, meningitis or migraines in people who thought they were suffering from post-Covid," says Kleinschnitz. The confusion is no coincidence: Post-Covid already has around 200 listed symptoms, most of which are closely linked to the nervous system.

This could be an explanation for the correlation between mental illness and post-Covid. In any case, further investigations are needed in this area in order to develop effective preventive measures and therapy methods.

Source: Study by the Essen University Medicine and the University of Duisburg-Essen

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