The risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s increases in the year following a corona infection. However, the researchers point out that the Covid only highlights the symptoms of an already existing disease.
According to a Danish study, a corona infection significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the following twelve months.
Compared to uninfected people, a doctor had diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease 3.5 times more often in infected people, write Pardis Zarifkar and his team in the journal “Frontiers in Neurology”. However, two German experts point out that, from their point of view, the corona infection did not trigger Alzheimer’s disease in the cases examined, but only revealed symptoms of an existing disease. Other media had already reported on the study.
Zarifkar’s team from Copenhagen University Hospital evaluated Danish health data and compared how often certain neurodegenerative diseases occurred in people with and without corona infection over a period of one year. They found a connection similar to that of Alzheimer’s disease, for example in Parkinson’s disease and cerebral infarction. However, the researchers point out that for most of the diseases studied – including Alzheimer’s – the effect was no greater than after bacterial flu or pneumonia.
Respiratory diseases affecting nerve cells
These respiratory diseases have long been known to cause inflammatory reactions that can increase the damaging effect on nerve cells in the brain, as explained by Anja Schneider, research group leader at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). in Bonn. Press Agency. The increased risk of diagnosis shown in the study could be because a crown-related inflammatory reaction accelerates nerve cell damage and symptoms become visible more quickly.
Peter Berlit, secretary general of the German Neurological Society (DGN), told dpa that it cannot be deduced from the study that a person after a corona infection has an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. later. It has only been shown that symptoms are diagnosed more frequently after an infection. He points out that external factors – for example, losing familiar surroundings because you have to go to a clinic – can also lead to existing Alzheimer’s disease becoming symptomatic.
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