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COVID-19 Patients at Far Higher Risk of Developing Neurodegenerative Disorders

COVID-19– According to a new study presented today at the 8th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress, 19 positive outpatients had a much higher risk of neurological diseases than people who tested negative for the virus. The study discovered that those who tested positive for COVID-19 had a significantly increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic stroke. The study examined the health records of more than half of the Danish population.

Researchers discovered that out of 919,731 people who had been tested for COVID-19, 43,375 had a 3.5 times higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, 2.6 times higher risk of Parkinson’s disease, 2.7 times higher risk of having an ischaemic stroke, and 4.8 times higher risk of having an intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain).

The authors underlined the relevance of the scientific attention on the long-term consequences of COVID-19, noting that neuroinflammation may speed up the development of neurodegenerative illnesses (so-called long COVID).In addition to patients with influenza from the same pre-pandemic period, the study examined in- and outpatients in Denmark from February 2020 to November 2021. Results were stratified for hospitalisation status, age, sex, and comorbidities, and statistical methods were employed to compute relative risk.

“More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the specific nature and progression of impact on neurological illnesses remained uncharacterized,” said Dr. Pardis Zarifkar, the lead author from the Department of Neurology at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. Although previous research has shown a relationship with neurological disorders, it is still unclear if is unique from other respiratory illnesses and whether it affects the frequency of certain neurological diseases.

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