According to the CDC, 5.8 million people in the United States are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.
However, according to a new study conducted by Case Western Reserve University, adults’ risk for developing this type of dementia may have just multiplied due to COVID-19.
In fact, the researchers found that older adults who had been infected with the virus were fifty to eighty percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s within one year.
The team first launched this study because two key factors that play a role in the development of the disease include inflammation and prior infections– particularly viral infections.
“And since infection with SARS-CoV-2 has been associated with central nervous system abnormalities including inflammation, we wanted to test whether, even in the short term, COVID could lead to increased diagnoses,” explained Pamela Davis, the study’s co-author.
So, the research team anonymously analyzed the health records of 6.2 million adults over the age of sixty-five. These patients all received medical treatment between February 2020 and May 2021. Moreover, they did not have a prior diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Next, the adults were divided into two groups. The first contained people who did not contract COVID-19 during that period, and the second contained people who did.
Over four hundred thousand people wound up in the COVID-19 group, while 5.8 million people were put in the control– or non-infected– group.
And sadly, the team found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in older adults practically doubled within a one-year period of contracting COVID-19.
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