Elderly Covid-19 patients displaying symptoms of deliria and confusion

New Delhi: Patients suffering from COVID-19, especially the elderly, are now showing signs of confusion or deliria, adding them to the list of ever-expanding symptoms of the contagious disease.

Medical experts said that the symptom cannot be ruled out and is visible in many patients, especially the older ones. "One symptom that has come forward in a COVID-19 patient is confusion. The patient is also witnessing depression and other psychological disorders," Dr LM Parashar, ENT Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital said.

He also said that the patient's sleep cycle is affected where it is, in most cases, difficult to stay awake. Numerous medical researchers have found that patients are suffering from neurological disorders due to the novel Coronavirus.

Neha's mother recovered from coronavirus two weeks back. One of the symptoms she was suffering from was confusion. "She could not recognise me at all. Although she was awake and talking, she could not remember who I was. After I told her I am her daughter, she vaguely started remembering. The doctors told me that patients from COVID-19 are suffering from confusion or psychological issues,"

Neha said.

An international study recently revealed that potentially deadly brain disorders may also be a symptom of COVD-19, even in people with an otherwise mild version of the disease.

The research published in Brain, showed that symptoms of a wide range of serious brain diseases were prevalent among Coronavirus patients. Many of them had only mild typical symptoms such as fever or respiratory issues and some were showing only neurological symptoms. According to Neha, her 53-year-old mother never had a history of mental illness. Her doctor, on the condition of anonymity, said that they are witnessing similar symptoms in a few other COVID-19 patients.

However, senior resident doctor Dr Jawahar Singh, at the Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said that any patient who is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) can suffer from deliria. "People who are on a ventilator are mostly suffering from deliria. A patient with another disease as well goes through the same problem. There can be many reasons for that, however, we cannot rule out the effect of COVID-19 in doing so as well," he added.

Delirium is an abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. It makes it difficult to think, remember, sleep, pay attention, and more.

Dr Singh said that COVID-19 is affecting the respiratory system due to which numerous metabolic illnesses arise. "This can create delirium in a patient," he said. Despite multiple patients displaying these symptoms, there is no study concretely linking neurological symptoms as a causal symptom of COVID-19.

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