Are Scientists Warning of ‘Brain Tsunami” Caused by Coronavirus?


Disorders that may be triggered by the infection include psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, delusional disorder, and paranoia.

Relationship between Covid-19 and Mental Disorders

A link between covid-19 and certain mental disorders is becoming increasingly clear. Given its “predilection” for the central nervous system, the virus represents “a synaptic tsunami for the patient’s brain and mind,” psychiatrist Roberto Amon of the University of the Andes (Chile) said Wednesday.

“These are symptoms that doctors have seen since the beginning of the pandemic in Wuhan, and after 12 weeks they are called ‘long covid,'” the scientist said during the online seminar “Covid-19 and its long-term effects on the brain: review of new data.” In particular, he highlighted that disorders that can be caused by the infection include psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, delusional disorder, and paranoia.

At the same time, Amon pointed out that the negative impact of coronavirus on patients’ mental health corresponds to the severity of each case. “Patients who were hospitalized or had more severe presentations are those who developed more mood disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and had more long-term commitments, while those who were almost asymptomatic had milder outcomes,” the psychiatrist said.

Another meeting participant, neurologist Ricardo Allegri of Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), highlighted the importance of a recent study by British researchers that found one in three people develop neurological problems six months after infection. “It’s an eye-opener and shows us what to look out for in the coming months,” he said.

“It is important to consider the conclusions of this Lancet study, not only for the diagnosis and management of acute cases, but also to see how we will organize the health care system in the coming period,” he added.