Research findings: How COVID-19 may affect people's brain and behaviour

by 22q Administrator

The Brain & Behavior Magazine presents the cutting edge research of our scientists who receive grants from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Two stories in the September 2021 issue focus on how COVID infections can damage the brain & cause psychiatric symptoms.

How COVID Infection May Damage the Brain and Affect Mental Illness Symptoms & Mortality
This article talks about the findings of a number of studies on COVID-19 symptoms that are related to brain and behaviour. These include cognitive and attention deficits (“brain fog”), new-onset anxiety, depression, psychosis, seizures, and suicidal behavior. In some cases, the virus may worsen brain and behavior disorders, and in other cases may be giving rise to symptoms that were not present prior to a COVID infection. In addition, “people with a lifetime history of mental disorder had increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Those diagnosed in the last year were especially at risk, not only of getting the virus but of having a bad outcome.”

How Pandemic-Related Stress Affects Families, Parenting, and Child Mental Health
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been dealing with the “death of loved ones, disease severity, social isolation and quarantine, unemployment, financial hardship, domestic violence, and educational disruptions.” This article presents multiple studies that examine the pandemic’s negative impact on people’s mental health. It also talks about the effect of parents’ behaviours on the wellbeing of their children in dealing with long term stresses.