SARS-CoV-2 is not the trigger
Are Alzheimer’s disease and Covid-19 related?
09/20/2022, 6:29 PM
Covid-19 is often associated with neurological disorders and Alzheimer’s disease with certain pathogens. So researchers are examining large amounts of data and identifying the first signs between infection with SARS-CoV-2 and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
People who contracted Covid-19 at the start of the epidemic were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease the following year. That’s what researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio discovered. According to the results of their study, within a year, people who had previously contracted Covid-19 were 69% more likely to develop neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease. The Search group results It was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
For the study, data was accessed from the so-called TriNetX network, where electronic medical records of more than 95 million Americans are stored anonymously. From this, Rong Xu’s team identified a total of 410,748 people who had to receive medical treatment for Covid-19 between February 2, 2020 and May 30, 2021.
These people were matched with a control group of the same number, consisting of 5,834534 people without Covid-19. The people in the control group were selected in such a way that they were as similar as possible to the Covid-19 group in terms of important factors such as age, gender, origin and lifestyle. No one has ever been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. All study participants were over 65 years old.
Age and gender were identified as risk factors
When analyzing the data, the research team saw that the Covid-19 group was 69% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease within a year compared to people in the group who had not tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. According to the researchers, people over the age of 85 and women were particularly affected.
The data do not currently allow any clear conclusions to be drawn about the direct relationship between Sars-CoV-2 infection and Alzheimer’s disease. However, they can support the much-discussed thesis about a cause as contagious as an amplifier of neurodegenerative disease. At the same time, researchers hypothesize that the Sars-CoV-2 virus cannot be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, because Alzheimer’s disease, a widespread form of dementia, is a disease that develops over many years. However, it is conceivable that infection with the Coronavirus can also accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This would also explain the increase in Alzheimer’s diagnoses in the Covid-19 group.
Conversely, it is also possible that undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease increases susceptibility to Sars-CoV-2. So the researchers plan to compare their results with data from other sources. In addition, long-term follow-up observations are necessary to gain more clarity about disease mechanisms.
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