Infections in childhood may affect mental health: Study

According to a recent study, it has emerged that serious infections during childhood may increase risk of mental disorders. Researchers at the Aarhus University found that infections, which require hospitalisations, can lead to an 84 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with any mental disorder and an about 42 percent increased the risk of using psychotropic drugs. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of JAMA Psychiatry. The researchers analysed health data of more than 1 million people and took a close look at their medical histories from birth to late adolescence. They found associations between any treated infection and increased risk of prescribed medication for various childhood and adolescent mental disorders. Risks were majorly increased for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality and behavior disorders, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder conduct disorder, and tic disorders.