On Saturday, a leading private health facility in Delhi reported an increase in neurological issues among post-Covid patients, including emergency cases of brain haemorrhage.
Furthermore, in the out-patient department (OPD), up to 60% of patients are presenting with increasing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of loneliness, with the majority of these cases being post-Covid, according to a statement from Moolchand Hospital.
Neurological issues among post-Covid patients have seen a “troubling rise,” according to doctors at the private facility.
According to the report, the Moolchand Hospital has been “recording increasing cases of intracerebral (brain) haemorrhage, and 50% of the neuroscience department is filled with such cases.”
Doctors also stated that survivors of the pandemic and those infected with COVID-19 are increasingly presenting to the hospital many weeks later with symptoms such as headache, giddiness, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, memory problems, anxiety, depression, stroke, pain, and sleep disorders.
According to the hospital, up to 60% of patients present with mental health issues such as headaches, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of loneliness, and so on.
“The majority of these cases are those who have had COVID-19 infection in the past, with a gap of two to three months,” said Dr Asha Bakshi, senior neurosurgeon at Moolchand Hospital.
“Such issues have a significant impact on both their personal and professional lives. Many people have complained about how difficult it is for them to concentrate at work. People are also struggling with work-life balance issues “She stated.
According to Bakshi, the pandemic has not only caused acute inflammatory illness primarily affecting the lungs, but has also resulted in some long-term neurological problems.
She cited a large cohort study of over 3,700 patients conducted by the Global Consortium Study of Neurologic Dysfunction in COVID-19 (GCS-NeuroCOVID) and the European Academy of Neurology Neuro-COVID Registry (ENERGY) that found neurological manifestations in approximately 80% of COVID-19 patients hospitalised, according to the statement.
“Thirty-seven percent of patients reported symptoms such as headache, while 26% reported anosmia or ageusia. Acute encephalopathy (49%) was the most commonly reported neurological syndrome, followed by coma (17%) and stroke (17%). (six per cent). The presence of clinically captured neurologic signs or syndromes was linked to an increased risk of death in the hospital “According to the neurosurgeon.
She also stated that more than 42% of people polled by the US Census Bureau in December reported anxiety or depression symptoms.
“Data from other surveys indicate that the picture is similar around the world. In India, a study from Assam (Hazarika and colleagues) discovered that 46% had anxiety, 22% had some form of depression, and 5% had suicidal thoughts “Bakshi elaborated.
She emphasised the importance of addressing the prevalence of neurological disorders and long-term mental health problems in the post-Covid population.
“This needs to be taken seriously, especially when such a large population is affected, because it has a direct impact on our social fabric and, more importantly, on work-life and the nation’s economic health,” Bakshi added.
Meanwhile, Akash Healthcare, a city-based hospital, said on Saturday that in the last two to four weeks, it has received 15-20 cases with neurological conditions after patients recovered from COVID-19.
“Apart from proximal myopathy, the most common conditions we’ve seen are migrainous headaches and post-COVID encephalopathy. Guillain-Barre syndrome was among the other uncommon conditions. Typically, the headaches are migrainous in nature, occur in younger age groups, and do not respond well to common migraine medications “Dr. Madhukar Bhardwaj, a neurologist at Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, elaborated.
In the elderly, post-covid encephalopathy manifests as a progressive decline in behaviour and alertness. According to doctors, patients typically arrive with a slew of questions about post-Covid conditions and are extremely anxious.
“So far, we haven’t seen any children with such conditions. People are coming to us with these neurological conditions after recovering from Covid for one to two months “He stated.