COVID-19 is associated with increased risks of neurological and psychiatric sequelae in the weeks and months thereafter. How long these risks remain, whether they affect children and adults similarly, and whether SARS-CoV-2 variants differ in their risk profiles remains unclear.
This study from Taquet et al. looked at the risks of 14 different disorders in 1.25 million patients two years on from Covid, mostly in the US. It then compared them with a closely-matched group of 1.25 million people who had a different respiratory infection.
In the group who had Covid, after two years, there were more new cases of dementia, stroke and brain fog in adults aged over 65; brain fog in adults aged 18-64; and epilepsy and psychotic disorders in children, although the overall risks were small. Some disorders became less common two years after Covid, including anxiety and depression in children and adults and psychotic disorders in adults.
The increased risk of depression and anxiety in adults lasts less than two months before returning to normal levels, the research found.