Covid-19 and its Link with Mental and Neurological Disorders

We need to think about mental illness as a brain health problem, we’ve got to be alarmed.

-Luana Marques

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-Cov-2 that triggers respiratory tract infection. Coronavirus is a kind of virus that causes infection in the nose, sinuses, and upper throat. Most of them are not hazardous but SARS-CoV-2 is one of the seven types of Coronavirus which can cause deadly diseases like SARS (i.e) Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome and MERS (i.e) Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The rest of them just cause the common cold and are not life-threatening, unlike Covid-19.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 includes,

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Body ache  
  • Headache
  • Congestion

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What are the complications of Covid-19?

This virus can cause respiratory failure, heart problems, liver problems, septic shock and can even lead to pneumonia and remains fatal.

The actual complications are mainly caused by a condition known as Cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome.

It occurs when the infection triggers the immune system to release a large dose of an inflammatory protein called Cytokines, in excess, this kills the tissues and severely damages the organs of the body.

How is Covid-19 related to Mental health problems?

The modern world in which all individuals can quickly travel and communicate has been completely shut down and is enforced with social isolation and restrictions which are linked to feelings of frustration and uncertainty.

This exceptional situation related to the COVID-19 outbreak is representing that individuals are highly emotionally and unprepared for the harmful effects of biological disasters that are directly showing how everyone may be fragile and helpless.

Social distancing and quarantine have been carried out first in China and then in most European countries where Italy and Spain experienced a tragic growth in the number of positive cases.

Although government regulations are essential to sustain social balance and assure the safety of all individuals, a direct strategy intended to manage the psychosocial issues associated with the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences in the community is currently missing.

What are the Mental Health complications of Covid-19?

Various Psychological symptoms like,

  • Depression
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Stress
  • Mood alterations
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

People who have been quarantined at homes and various cities away from their homes have experienced a burst of emotions like,

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Numbness
  • Grief
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia

Thus, the quarantine period has important psychological consequences on the individual’s mental health both in the short-term as well as in the long-term period.

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What are the neurological disorders associated with Covid-19?

The Neurological symptoms were most commonly seen in those who were seriously ill with Covid.

The most common neurological disorders experienced by the patients were anxiety disorders to substance misuse disorders, insomnia, intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), ischemic stroke, and rarely dementia.


Ques. What are all the risk factors associated with the Covid-19 crisis?

  • Alexithymia- Which exactly means “no words for mood”, it is concerned with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and psychological distress.
    The increased risk of suicidal behavior can also be noticed in these individuals.
  • Inadequate information
  • Inadequate supplies

Ques. What are the encephalopathies triggered by Covid-19 and its biomarkers?
Hypoxia, sepsis, renal failure, cytokine storm, and severe systemic inflammation are the encephalopathies triggered by the SARS-CoV-2.
The biomarkers seen in these individuals are IL-2, IL-6, IL-7, GCSF, TNF-Alpha 1.


Since Covid-19 is a Pulmonary dominated disease, the neurological manifestations are commonly masked. Thus one has to be vigilant about their Mental health always, especially during this pandemic because it is highly prone to risks.

So, always seek help whenever needed and take preventive measures as much as needed.

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