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Accepted manuscript

Neuropsychiatric symptoms in post COVID-19 long haulers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2022

Hussam Y. Alghamdi
Affiliation:
College of Medicine, Taif University, Al-Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
Abdulaziz M. Alrashed
Affiliation:
College of Medicine, Taif University, Al-Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
Amjad M. Jawhari
Affiliation:
College of Medicine, Taif University, Al-Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
Ahmed S. Abdel-Moneim*
Affiliation:
College of Medicine, Taif University, Al-Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
*
*Corresponding author: Ahmed S. Abdel-Moneim: asa@tu.edu.sa/asa@bsu.edu.eg Microbiology Department, College of Medicine, Taif University, Al-Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Background:

Long haulers have been recently reported after contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In the present study, we aimed to screen for the neuropsychiatric signs detected <1 to >6 months after infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to determine whether vaccination has an effect on them.

Methods:

An online survey was conducted among participants who had been diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The clinical signs and durations of neuropsychiatric complaints and their correlations to sex, age, severity of COVID-19 signs, and vaccination status were screened.

Results:

A total of 2218 individuals, including 1358 females and 860 males, with an age range of 12–70 years, submitted their responses. The respondents experienced cognitive dysfunction, mood alteration, depression, tinnitus, sleep disorders, and loss of taste and smell, with prevalence rates ranging from 18.9% (tinnitus) to 63.9% (loss of taste and smell). Of the respondents, 2.2–7.7% of confirmed the persistence of symptoms for >6 months. Tinnitus was the least common complaint, and only 2.2% of the study participants had tinnitus for >6 months. Meanwhile, mood alteration persisted for >6 months in 7.6% of the study participants. More respondents who received two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine showed persistent symptoms than those in the other groups. Disease severity and female sex were identified as potential determinants of the development and persistency of such symptoms.

Conclusion:

Post-COVID neuropsychiatric symptoms were present in considerable percentages of the study participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, persisting for >6 months in up to 7.6% of the participants.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2022

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