PEOPLE who catch Covid are at increased risk of serious brain injuries up to year after infection – even those who don’t get that ill.
US researchers said strokes, seizures, memory problems and movement disorders are among the issues suffered by patients after catching the virus.
Debilitating neurological conditions occur in seven per cent more of those who have been infected with Covid compared with those who haven’t caught the virus.
And these scary illnesses are not limited to just those hospitalised by Covid.
The research, published in Nature, found that brain disorders were also common among the healthy, the young and those who only developed a mild case of the virus.
“The results show the devastating long-term effects of Covid-19,” senior author Doctor Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University School of Medicine said in a statement.
“It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, female or male, or what your race is.
“It doesn’t matter if you smoked or not, or if you had other unhealthy habits or conditions,” Dr Al-Aly said.
Over 22 million Brits have caught Covid so far, according to the Department of Health.
Which means more than 154,0000 people in the UK could be suffering with neurological conditions because of the virus.
As part of the study, experts from Washington University School of Medicine studied the medical records of over 150,000 people who tested positive for Covid.
They compared these records to 5.6 million patients who did not have Covid during the same time frame.
They also compared the results to another group of 5.8 million people from the period just before coronavirus spread across the world.
The research revealed that people who had Covid-19 were 80 per cent more likely to suffer from epilepsy or seizures than someone who didn’t catch the virus
People infected with the virus are also 50 per cent more likely to have an ischemic stroke – which is caused by blood clots – compared with the never infected group.
Those infected with the virus were also 43 per cent more likely to develop mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
While those who had Covid were 35 per cent more likely to experience mild to severe headaches and 22 per cent more likely to develop hearing abnormalities – such as tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
Previous research into how Covid affects the brain has been largely focused on hospitalised patients, whereas Dr Al-Aly’s study included both hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients.
Earlier this year, medics warned that if you’ve had coronavirus, then you are also at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Meanwhile, researchers – including from the universities of Imperial College London and Cambridge – found that Covid can cause a “substantial drop” in intelligence.