According to a Danish study, a coronary infection significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over the next 12 months.
Compared to non-infected people, one doctor diagnosed Alzheimer’s 3.5 times more often in infected people, Pardis Zarifkar and his team write 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 in the cases examined, but only revealed the symptoms of an existing disease. Other media had previously reported on the study.
Zarifkar’s team from Copenhagen University Hospital evaluated Danish health data and compared the frequency with which some neurodegenerative diseases occurred in people with and without coronary infection over a period of one year. They found a similar connection to that in Alzheimer’s, for example in Parkinson’s and cerebral infarction. However, the researchers point out that for most of the diseases studied, including Alzheimer’s disease, the effect was no greater than after the flu or bacterial pneumonia.
The corona accelerator makes the symptoms visible earlier
It has long been known that such respiratory diseases lead to inflammatory reactions that can increase the damaging effect on nerve cells in the brain, as explained to the German by Anja Schneider, leader of the research group at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn News Agency. The increased risk of a diagnosis shown in the study may be due to the fact that a corona-related inflammatory reaction accelerates nerve cell damage and symptoms become visible more quickly.
Peter Berlit, general secretary of the German Society of Neurology (DGN), told the dpa that it cannot be inferred from the study that a person after a coronary infection had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s later. It has only been shown that symptoms are diagnosed more frequently after an infection. He points out that external factors – such as losing the family environment because you have to go to a clinic – can also lead to existing Alzheimer’s disease becoming symptomatic.
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