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Alzheimer’s Experts Raise Concern Over Link Between Covid-19 & Dementia

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Reportedly, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could cause a significant rise in the number of dementia patients in the long term, raised Alzheimer’s Disease International. The organization is urging the World Health Organization and governments around the world to “urgently fast track research on the potential impact of COVID-19 on increasing dementia rates.”

The research shows that pandemic could cause a significant rise in the number of dementia patients in the long term, as Covid infections can increase a person’s likelihood of developing dementia and cause dementia symptoms to show up earlier. Dementia is a condition with deterioration in the brain that impairs memory, behavior, thoughts, and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and there is currently no cure for dementia.

In the short term, “dementia rates may drop temporarily as a result of the high number of deaths of people with dementia due to COVID-19, with between 25 to 45 percent of all COVID-19 deaths estimated to be of those with dementia,” the London-based group said in a media release.

But over the longer term, the number of people with dementia “could rise significantly due to the neurological impact of COVID-19,” it added.

Paola Barbarino, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), informed that a better understanding between Covid and Dementia link can help authorities manage the increased prevalence of dementia, and identify early symptoms.
“Many dementia experts around the globe are seriously concerned by the link between dementia and the neurological symptoms of COVID-19,” stated Paola Barbarino, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).

The Alzheimer’s Disease International’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel, comprising of global experts on dementia, is studying the link between Covid-19 and Dementia, and how to deal with it. The chair of the advisory panel, Dr. Alireza Atri, raised that he is “particularly concerned” about the long-term effects of Covid, with symptoms like loss of smell and taste, “brain fog” and difficulties with memory, concentration.

Atri, who’s director of Banner Sun Health Research Institute in the U.S., also raised that Covid can damage and clot microvessels in the brain, hurt the body’s immunity and cause inflammation.

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(Read Original Story: Covid could trigger a spike in dementia cases, say Alzheimer's experts in CNBC)


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