New research suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may increase the risk of cognitive deficits and Alzheimer’s

Experts released a report for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021 highlighting the work being done to investigate the long-term health impacts of SARS-CoV-2.


In the report, a group of researchers suggested that associations between the novel coronavirus and prolonged cognitive deficits exist, which implicates Alzheimer’s disease pathology and its subsequent symptoms.

The purported discovery of long-term neuropsychiatric symptoms as a result of infection has been introduced in past research since the virus was declared a pandemic back in early-2020.

From the report: “These new data point to disturbing trends showing COVID-19 infections leading to lasting cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s symptoms,” according to Heather Snyder, the VP of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“With more than 190 million cases and nearly 4 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has devastated the entire world. It is imperative that we continue to study what this virus is doing to our bodies and brains. The Alzheimer’s Association and its partners are leading, but more research is needed.”

Also in the report: “In patients who were initially cognitively normal with and without TME related to COVID-19 infection, the researchers found higher levels of t-tau, NfL, GFAP, pTau-181, and UCH-L1 in COVID-19 patients with TME compared to COVID-19 patients without TME.”

“There were no significant differences with Aβ1-40, but the pTau/Aβ42 ratio showed significant differences in patients with TME. Additionally, t-tau, NfL, UCH-L1 and GFAP significantly correlated with markers of inflammation such as C-reactive peptide, which may suggest inflammation-related blood-brain barrier disruption accompanying neuronal/glial injury,” the report also adds.

Overall, the report concludes that people formerly infected with SARS-CoV-2 may experience an acceleration of Alzheimer’s symptoms and pathology, thus raising the risk of cognitive deficits. More research is necessary, however.

Image courtesy of iStock
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