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1.
Exp Ther Med ; 24(5): 705, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099951

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a widespread impact on individuals' mental health through indirect psychological and social mechanisms, related to factors such as fear of infection or death, social isolation, lack of social support and financial instability. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has also been associated with the development or recurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, both during the acute phase, as well as during the post-acute 'long-COVID' phase. In addition to the COVID-19 survivors with a mental health history that are at a high risk of experiencing a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms following resolution of acute COVID-19, there is accumulating evidence that a diagnosis of COVID-19 may also be associated with new-onset neuropsychiatric morbidity among survivors without pre-existing mental health disorders. In particular, studies investigating the incidence of post-acute neuropsychiatric sequelae, based mostly on retrospective cohort study designs and data from national health registries, have reported the development of new-onset manifestations, including depression, anxiety, psychotic symptoms, sleep disturbances and fatigue. Nevertheless, when COVID-19 survivors were compared with SARS-CoV-2-negative controls and especially survivors of other disorders (such as influenza), the findings regarding the risk of incident neuropsychiatric manifestations varied among studies. While there is evidence of an association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the subsequent occurrence of new-onset neuropsychiatric symptoms, especially among patients with increased disease severity, further research using methodological approaches less susceptible to confounding bias is required to establish causal relationships.

2.
Ther Adv Chronic Dis ; 13: 20406223221076890, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779561

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence points toward a very high prevalence of prolonged neurological symptoms among coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors. To date, there are no solidified criteria for 'long-COVID' diagnosis. Nevertheless, 'long-COVID' is conceptualized as a multi-organ disorder with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations that may be indicative of underlying pulmonary, cardiovascular, endocrine, hematologic, renal, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, immunological, psychiatric, or neurological disease. Involvement of the central or peripheral nervous system is noted in more than one-third of patients with antecedent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, while an approximately threefold higher incidence of neurological symptoms is recorded in observational studies including patient-reported data. The most frequent neurological manifestations of 'long-COVID' encompass fatigue; 'brain fog'; headache; cognitive impairment; sleep, mood, smell, or taste disorders; myalgias; sensorimotor deficits; and dysautonomia. Although very limited evidence exists to date on the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in the manifestation of 'long-COVID', neuroinflammatory and oxidative stress processes are thought to prevail in propagating neurological 'long-COVID' sequelae. In this narrative review, we sought to present a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of clinical features, risk factors, and pathophysiological processes of neurological 'long-COVID' sequelae. Moreover, we propose diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms that may aid in the prompt recognition and management of underlying causes of neurological symptoms that persist beyond the resolution of acute COVID-19. Furthermore, as causal treatments for 'long-COVID' are currently unavailable, we propose therapeutic approaches for symptom-oriented management of neurological 'long-COVID' symptoms. In addition, we emphasize that collaborative research initiatives are urgently needed to expedite the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies for neurological 'long-COVID' sequelae.

3.
Exp Ther Med ; 23(5): 363, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1780105

ABSTRACT

There is accumulating evidence in the literature indicating that a number of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may experience a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms, persisting or even presenting following the resolution of acute COVID-19. Among the neuropsychiatric manifestations more frequently associated with 'long COVID' are depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, fatigue and cognitive deficits, that can potentially be debilitating and negatively affect patients' wellbeing, albeit in the majority of cases symptoms tend to improve over time. Despite variations in results obtained from studies using different methodological approaches to define 'long COVID' syndrome, the most widely accepted factors associated with a higher risk of developing neuropsychiatric manifestations include the severity of foregoing COVID-19, the female sex, the presence of comorbidities, a history of mental health disease and an elevation in the levels of inflammatory markers, albeit further research is required to establish causal associations. To date, the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in neuropsychiatric manifestations of 'long COVID' remain only partially elucidated, while the role of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as social isolation and uncertainty concerning social, financial and health recovery post-COVID, have also been highlighted. Given the alarming effects of 'long-COVID', interdisciplinary cooperation for the early identification of patients who are at a high risk of persistent neuropsychiatric presentations, beyond COVID-19 recovery, is crucial to ensure that appropriate integrated physical and mental health support is provided, with the aim of mitigating the risks of long-term disability at a societal and individual level.

4.
Exp Ther Med ; 23(1): 107, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580300

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been widespread concern that social isolation, financial stress, depression, limited or variable access to health care services and other pandemic-related stressors may contribute to an increase in suicidal behaviors. In patients who have recovered from COVID-19, an increased risk of developing suicidal behaviors may be noted, while post-COVID syndrome comprises another potential risk factor contributing to increased suicidal behaviors. Despite the initial alarming predictions for an increase in suicide rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of published studies to date suggest that experienced difficulties and distress do not inevitably translate into an increased number of suicide-related deaths, at least not in the short-term. Nevertheless, the long-term mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be unfolded and are likely to remain for a long period of time. Suicide prevention and measures aiming at promoting well-being and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, particularly among vulnerable groups, should thus be a priority for healthcare professionals and policymakers amidst the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

5.
Exp Ther Med ; 22(4): 1162, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377025

ABSTRACT

Since its outbreak, in December, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved into an ongoing global pandemic. Due to the novel antigenic properties of this virus, the world population could not develop immunity effectively and this led to the subsequent spread of COVID-19. This caused an unprecedented emergency situation with significant negative effects on health and well-being both on an individual and societal level. Apart from health, economic and social consequences, the impact of this pandemic on mental health is increasingly being reported in the scientific literature. The present review aimed to provide a comprehensive discussion of the possible neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of SARS-CoV-2, together with the related underlying molecular pathways. In addition, the present review focused on populations which are at a higher risk of developing psychiatric disturbances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed possible routes of clinical management and therapeutics to minimize the burden associated with psychiatric disorders. Moreover, research findings exploring the prevalence of COVID-19-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms across vulnerable groups, including children, adolescents and COVID-19 survivors are presented, with particular emphasis on those with severe disease who required hospitalization and/or intensive care unit admission. Based on the available literature, the identification of potential determinants associated with PTSD across the different populations is underlined. Lessons learnt from the pandemics across the globe together with the ongoing research on COVID-19 and its impact on mental health, highlight the utmost importance for evidence-based, proactive and targeted interventions in high-risk groups aiming to mitigate the risks and manage vulnerabilities.

6.
Postgrad Med J ; 98(1159): 321-327, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158120

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted the well-established, traditional structure of medical education. Τhe new limitations of physical presence have accelerated the development of an online learning environment, comprising both of asynchronous and synchronous distance education, and the introduction of novel ways of student assessment. At the same time, this prolonged crisis had serious implications on the lives of medical students including their psychological well-being and the impact on their academic trajectories. The new reality has, on many occasions, triggered the 'acting up' of medical students as frontline healthcare staff, which has been perceived by many of them as a positive learning and contributing experience, and has led to a variety of responses from the educational institutions. All things considered, the urgency for rapid and novel adaptations to the new circumstances has functioned as a springboard for remarkable innovations in medical education,including the promotion of a more "evidence-based" approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Education, Medical , Students, Medical , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Exp Ther Med ; 21(3): 244, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073518

ABSTRACT

As one year is approaching since the beginning of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the detrimental effect that it is having on mental health at the individual, societal and public health levels. The current review presents the direct and indirect psychological impact of COVID-19 on the general public, as well as on vulnerable groups, including the elderly, the young, healthcare professionals, people with pre-existing mental health issues, those infected by COVID-19, homeless people and refugees. Important findings are discussed in the present review, including the social stigma in older people associated with portraying COVID-19 as the disease of the elderly, and the limited psychological impact of COVID-19 in the severely mentally ill, alongside the response of the mental healthcare systems globally to this unparalleled public health crisis. The important lessons to be learnt so far can help formulate individual mental health recommendations, as well as improved intervention and prevention public health strategies.

8.
Mol Med Rep ; 22(4): 3035-3048, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-782224

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease­2019 (COVID­19) pandemic, caused by the new coronavirus SARS­CoV­2, has spread around the globe with unprecedented consequences for the health of millions of people. While the pandemic is still in progress, with new incidents being reported every day, the resilience of the global society is constantly being challenged. Under these circumstances, the future seems uncertain. SARS­CoV­2 coronavirus has spread panic among civilians and insecurity at all socio­political and economic levels, dramatically disrupting everyday life, global economy, international travel and trade. The disease has also been linked to the onset of depression in many individuals due to the extreme restriction measures that have been taken for the prevention of the rapid spreading of COVID­19. First, the socio­economic, political and psychological implications of the COVID­19 pandemic were explored. Substantial evidence is provided for the consequences of the pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, while at the same time we unravel the role and the pursuits of national regimes during this unforeseen situation. The second goal of this review is related to the scientific aspect of the pandemic. Hence, we explain why SARS­CoV­2 is not a so­called 'invisible enemy', and also attempt to give insight regarding the origin of the virus, in an effort to reject the conspiracy theories that have arisen during the pandemic. Finally, rational strategies were investigated for successful vaccine development. We are optimistic that this review will complement the knowledge of specialized scientists and inform non­specialized readers on basic scientific questions, and also on the social and economic implications of the COVID­19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Cost of Illness , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Politics , Science , Social Class , Socioeconomic Factors , Viral Vaccines
9.
Exp Ther Med ; 20(3): 2812-2814, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695714

ABSTRACT

Stress induced (Takotsubo) cardiomyopathy (TC) represents an acute heart failure syndrome triggered by physical or emotional stressors. COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented health crisis resulting in fear, distress and anxiety, with emerging cardiovascular implications. COVID-19 related stress can act as potential trigger for TC. We present a case of an elderly female who developed TC due to stress surrounding COVID-19.

10.
Exp Ther Med ; 20(3): 1843-1844, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-692752

ABSTRACT

As the focus of the COVID-19 crisis is gradually taken away from emergency healthcare needs, increased attention is warranted on the psychological impact of the pandemic on a global level. Existing guidance on managing the COVID-19 related distress needs to be better informed by upcoming larger-scale research. Applying e-Health can be useful in dealing with the immediate psychological needs, while developing strategies to identify vulnerable populations and shifting the provision of mental health and social care to community services need to be prioritised when looking at the future. Focusing on global mental health during this universal crisis is an opportunity for promoting a more compassionate and less discriminating society.

11.
Oncol Lett ; 20(1): 441-447, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626618

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has caused unprecedented societal turmoil, triggering a rapid, still ongoing, transformation of healthcare provision on a global level. In this new landscape, it is highly important to acknowledge the challenges this pandemic poses on the care of the particularly vulnerable cancer patients and the subsequent psychosocial impact on them. We have outlined our clinical experience in managing patients with gastrointestinal, hematological, gynaecological, dermatological, neurological, thyroid, lung and paediatric cancers in the COVID-19 era and have reviewed the emerging literature around barriers to care of oncology patients and how this crisis affects them. Moreover, evolving treatment strategies and novel ways of addressing the needs of oncology patients in the new context of the pandemic are discussed.

12.
Exp Ther Med ; 20(1): 159-162, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-380042

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global public health emergency resulting in unprecedented individual and societal fear and anxiety. The stress surrounding this biothreat appears to have clinical implications in all aspects of medicine, both in mental and physical health spheres. The impact of COVID-19 related anxiety in Cardiology, Paediatrics, Oncology, Dermatology, Neurology and Mental Health and how it affects treatments is discussed. Moreover, the need for introducing novel communication and therapeutic approaches is highlighted in the new landscape of the COVID-19 era.

13.
Exp Ther Med ; 19(6): 3451-3453, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-87404

ABSTRACT

In light of the unprecedented public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly important to acknowledge the psychological impact of this mounting threat on healthcare professionals. Previous experience from smaller scale epidemics and emerging literature around COVID-19 show that the unparalleled amount of stress that healthcare workers are dealing with, is associated with increased psychological morbidities. We have depicted the psychological burden that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed on healthcare professionals in Greece and have reviewed the literature around the effect of previous epidemics on frontline healthcare staff. Moreover, we discuss potential triggers and the need for measures to minimise the psychological pressure on those at the frontline against this biothreat.

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