Appearance of extrapyramidal symptoms in adolescent psychiatry patients during COVID-19 infection

J Med Virol. 2023 Feb;95(2):e28556. doi: 10.1002/jmv.28556.


Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the incidence of psychiatric morbidity among those infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and those indirectly affected by COVID-19. There has been a considerable increase in the number of individuals with such psychiatric conditions as depression, acute stress disorders, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). About one-third of patients with COVID-19 are reported to have developed short and long-term neuropsychiatric conditions such as delirium, agitation, altered consciousness, hypoxic encephalopathy encephalitis, dysexecutive syndrome, cerebrovascular complications (e.g., stroke), hypoxic encephalopathy, convulsions, neuromuscular dysfunction, demyelinating processes, or parkinsonism through several pathophysiological mechanisms. Nevertheless, as the pandemic progressed, data on neuropsychiatric manifestations implied that the pathologic capacity of COVID-19 and its association with the onset and/or exacerbation of psychiatric morbidity indicate that COVID-19 is potentially related to neuropsychiatric involvement. Patients with existing mental disorders under psychotropic treatment exposed to the COVID-19 infection have been represented by an increased risk of worsened psychiatric symptoms and expanded drug side effects. The present study aimed to describe five pediatric patients with various psychiatric illness that experienced COVID-19 infection and had potentially associated neuropsychiatric involvement, such as exacerbation of underlying psychiatric symptoms and extrapyramidal side effects. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to describe adolescents with COVID-19 infection that presented with a series of manifestations in the form of an increase in extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) during exacerbation of underlying psychiatric disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS coronavirus; adolescent psychiatry; coronavirus; extrapyramidal symptoms; neuropsychiatric symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain*