LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We’ve heard a lot about the long-term effects some people have from the coronavirus, but now there is new research revealing more about the psychological impact too.
Scientists at Oxford University found people diagnosed with COVID-19 are at a greater risk of developing a range of psychological and neurological conditions.
One in three covid patients in the U.S. developed brain or psychiatric disorders within six months of being infected.
For instance, Ivan Agerton is an adventure photographer, but when he returned from his latest assignment, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. His symptoms were mild so he wasn’t too concerned, until he became incredibly paranoid even hearing voices outside his window.
“It instantly like a light switch, I felt this intense paranoia hit me,” Agerton said. “I couldn’t escape it. Every single person I saw would trigger this intense fear.”
Doctors eventually linked his condition to COVID-19.
Further study found COVID patients were treated more often for a range of disorders from common ones like anxiety and depression, to rare conditions like dementia and psychosis, but they still don’t know why.
“Is this for example a direct effect of the virus getting into the brain and damaging the brain?” asked Professor Paul Harrison of the University of Oxford. “Is it inflammation in the brain?”
Months later, Agerton says he’s vaccinated and feeling better. He hopes sharing his story will give others courage to ask for help.
Scientists also found the sicker people became from COVID-19, the more likely they were to develop mental health complications — more proof that we still have a long way to go to understanding this virus.