Persistent cognitive issues and the troubling brain scans of recovering COVID-19 patients have led researchers to explore whether coronavirus infection ups the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- The same genes tied to higher severe COVID-19 risk are also tied to an elevated risk of developing Alzheimer’s
- Alzheimer's diagnoses appear more common in patients in their 60s and 70s who had severe COVID-19.
The nose knows? COVID-19 patients who lost their sense of smell also show more memory loss and mental difficulties, according to Gabriel de Erausquin, a neurology professor at University of Texas Health San Antonio.
“Those people look really bad right now,” de Erausquin says. “And the expectation is that [COVID-19] may behave as Alzheimer's behaves, in a progressive fashion. But the true answer is we don't know.”
Researchers from around the world are presenting their findings on COVID-19’s impacts on the brain at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, which begins today in Denver.