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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A third of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus had also experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness as of six months later, according to a new study published yesterday in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Between the lines: Mood disorders like anxiety and depression were especially common, but researchers also found lower rates of serious complications like strokes and dementia, STAT reports.

  • 1 in 8 of the patients were diagnosed for the first time with the illness.
  • The study looked at the prevalence of 13 brain disorders. Anxiety, mood and substance use disorders were most common.
  • Patients with very severe coronavirus infections were more likely to develop complications like stroke or dementia, but patients who later developed anxiety or depression had illnesses of varying degrees of severity.

What they're saying: "We need urgent research to better understand how and why does this occur in patients with COVID-19 and how they can be treated and [how to] prevent it," Max Taquet, a clinical fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford and a study co-author, told reporters.

  • "But we think that regardless of the explanation, health services need to be prepared for the increased demand that this data is showing." 
  • The authors also speculated that the stress of having COVID, and the subsequent disruption, could contribute to psychiatric illnesses.

Go deeper

Updated Apr 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Apr 7, 2021 - World

Brazil's daily COVID death toll tops 4,000 for first time

Cemetery workers carry a coffin during the burial of a COVID-19 victim at the Sao Joao municipal cemetery in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on March 26. Photo: Silvio Avila/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil confirmed more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time on Tuesday, the health ministry announced.

Why it matters: A surge in cases and deaths, driven in part by relaxed mitigation measures and a more contagious local variant, has overwhelmed the country's health system.

Apr 6, 2021 - Health

California to fully reopen economy June 15 if COVID rates remain stable

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California will aim to fully reopen its economy on June 15 if COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low and vaccine supplies adequately cover people ages 16 and older, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: More people have died of the coronavirus in California than in any other state. Newsom has faced a growing recall effort in recent months as Californians have called on him to lift heavy-handed restrictions on businesses.