CCU048: COVID-19 infection, vaccination and psychosis risk.

Project lead:
Dominic Oliver, King's College London

There is strong evidence that infections with certain viruses making it more likely for someone to develop psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen more people seeking treatment for psychosis symptoms in the UK. We currently do not know whether this is because of COVID-19 and its potential effects on the brain. Similarly, there have been some cases of psychosis after people have received COVID-19 vaccines. In this study, we will test whether people are more likely to develop psychosis after positive COVID-19 tests and after vaccination.

There have been reports of individual patients who have developed psychosis shortly after COVID-19 infection and after vaccination. However, we do not know whether these cases are representative of the whole population. Through this project, we will be able to assess the relationship between COVID-19 infection/vaccination and psychosis that will be more meaningful to the whole population.

If people are more likely to develop psychosis after COVID-19 infection and/or vaccination, this would suggest that there may be more psychosis cases than usual in the coming years. This would provide evidence to support increased funding to prevention and early intervention of psychosis in the NHS.