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First-Episode Psychosis Precipitated by Covid-19 Epidemic in a Patient with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author(s): Kusen I, O’ Neill E, Butler MI, Young M, Ismail F

This case report outlines the development of psychotic symptoms including delusions and paranoia related to the COVID-19 outbreak in a patient with a background history of high functioning autism spectrum disorder. The patient experienced deterioration and new onset psychotic symptoms due to significant changes in his routine when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated lock-down measures in Ireland.

This patient had no prior known history of any mental illness other than anxiety which was managed by a private psychiatrist. This case demonstrates the impact that a global pandemic can have on vulnerable individuals resulting in the triggering of psychosis and a breakdown in the ability to process changes in reality. Patients with such developmental vulnerabilities would benefit from monitoring and early intervention in recognising and treating psychotic symptoms.

    Editor In Chief

    Michael Maes

  • Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
    Deakin University
    Victoria, Australia

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