Mood Disorders Associated in Patients With COVID-19 Long-Haul Syndrome

Killian Meara

Killian Meara, assistant editor for ContagionLive, joined the MJH Life Sciences team in November 2020. He graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in liberal studies, and concentrations in history and psychology. He enjoys film, reading, and pretending he is a good cook. Follow him on Twitter @krmeara or email him at [email protected]

One-third of the participants reported that they had trouble performing basic, daily living activities.

A recent study conducted by investigators from the Mayo Clinic has discovered that patients who have been diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome, otherwise known as COVID-19 long-haul syndrome, can experience cognitive impairment, fatigue and mood disorders which could impact returning to work or taking part in normal activities.

Results from the study were published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Most patients in the study had no preexisting comorbidities prior to COVID-19 infection, and many did not experience symptoms related to COVID-19 that were severe enough to require hospitalization," Greg Vanichkachorn, first author on the study said. "Most of the patients had normal or nondiagnostic lab and imaging results, despite having debilitating symptoms. That's among the challenges of diagnosing PCS in a timely way and then responding effectively."

For the study, the investigators followed the first 100 patients to take part in the Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation program (CARP), a multidisciplinary program which is aiming to evaluate and treat patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome.

The participants were 68% female with a mean age of 45, and were evaluated a mean of 93 days after their infection with COVID-19.

Results from the study showed that the most common symptom reported was fatigue, with around 80% of the participants experiencing it. Respiratory complaints were seen in 59% of the patients, with a similar amount reporting neurologic complaints.

One of the most distressing findings showed that more than 1/3 of the participants said that they had trouble performing basic activities of daily living.

"While many patients had fatigue, more than half also reported troubles with thinking, commonly known as 'brain fog.' And more than one-third of patients had trouble with basic activities of life. Many could not resume their normal work life for at least several months." Vanichkachorn said. "As the pandemic continues, we expect to see more patients who experience symptoms long after infection, and health care providers need to prepare for this, know what to look for, and know how to best provide for their patients' needs."