Media Advisory
Trump’s COVID/Mental Health Connection

WHAT:  With today’s news about President Trump’s positive COVID test, more research to explore what we know about how older adults manage following a COVID diagnosis is crucial.  A team from McLean geriatric department have been studying the neuropsychiatric impact of COVID-19 on older adults. 

 Key research findings:

  • Research suggests that the COVID-19 can have an impact on the brain that persists long after recovery from the respiratory illness.
  • Factors such poor physical health, loneliness and poor social support can lead to worse outcomes. Proficiency with technology and physical exercise can be protective. Higher stress levels may also be a factor though the precise nature of these relationships is not yet well understood.
  • McLean Hospital researcher found that based on continuous digital phenotyping of older adults recovering from COVID-19 indicates that the mental health impact can vary between older adults. Subtle changes in sleep and motion may persist up to 3 months after recovery. 
  • Common symptoms appear to be depression, anxiety and PTSD-like symptoms. 

WHO:  Ipsit Vahia, MD, Medical Director of McLean’s Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services and Medical Director of McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry. Founded in 1811, McLean Hospital is a leader in psychiatric care, research, and education and is the largest psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.