Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Incidence, Risks, and Mechanisms

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Presenting Author(s): Prof. Paul J. Harrison, M.A., B.M., B.Ch., D.M. (Oxon), F.R.C.Psych.

Date and time: 24 Mar 2023 from 09:00 to 10:00

Location: Wildrose Salon A/B  Floor Map

Learning Objectives

  1. To learn the incidence of neuropsychiatric disorders following SARS-CoV-2 infection;
  2. To know how these risks compare to people following other health events;
  3. To understand how the risks differ depending on age, severity of illness, and viral strain;
  4. To be informed about the possible mechanisms underlying the findings.


We have used electronic health records to study psychiatric and neurological disorders occurring in the 2 years after COVID-19 infection in over 1.2 million people. The main findings are that, in adults, many diagnoses are more common than in matched people recovering from other respiratory infections. The excess risks of mood and anxiety disorders are transient, but those for dementia, psychosis and seizures continue throughout the 2 year period. Risks are greater in, but not limited to, those who required hospitalization for the acute infection. Findings in children show both similarities and differences compared to adults. Omicron was associated with similar risks of post-COVID-19 neuropsychiatric sequelae as the previous delta strain. Emerging data, both from health records and a prospective cohort study, suggest that microvascular events are part of the mechanism underlying these findings.

Literature References

Taquet et al, Lancet Psychiatry 2022; 9: 415-427

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