In a study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Disease, US researchers report that people over the age of 65 who are infected with Covid-19 are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease within a year of diagnosis. A higher risk was observed in women over 85 years of age.
As the Alzheimer’s Foundation recently explained, “Covid-19 is likely to cause severe neurological disorders in healthy subjects and to be involved chronically in the development of neurodegenerative diseases”. An idea confirmed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
For their work, the scientists analyzed the health records of more than 6 million people who did not develop Alzheimer’s disease. They divided the participants into 2 groups based on whether they were infected with Covid-19 or not.
“Elderly people with Covid-19 have a higher risk (50% to 80% than the control group) of developing Alzheimer’s disease after one year,” the authors warn. It recalls that “SARS-CoV2 has already been associated with central nervous system abnormalities, including inflammation.” This may explain this causal link between the coronavirus and neurodegenerative disease.
However, researchers still don’t know whether Covid-19 actually causes Alzheimer’s disease or accelerates cognitive decline in susceptible individuals. So more work is needed.