Covid-19 pneumonia increases the risk of dementia, study says
Covid-19 pneumonia increases the risk of dementia, study says

Covid-19 pneumonia increases the risk of dementia, study says


Patients hospitalized with Covid-19-associated pneumonia were more likely to develop dementia than patients hospitalized with other types of pneumonia, according to a examination published March 7 by Open forum infectious diseasesadds to a growing body of research linking Covid-19 to cognitive disorders and brain damage.

Key Facts

A study of data 20,806 patients found that patients admitted with non-Covid-19 pneumonia ran a 2.5% risk of developing new onset dementia after recovery, while patients admitted with Covid-19 pneumonia ran a 3% risk, an increase at 18.6%, said researchers from the University of Missouri based on data collected by health information technology firm Cerner Corporation.

This effect was strongest among people over 70, where the risk of dementia was 5% after non-Covid-19 pneumonia and 6.4% after Covid-19 pneumonia, an increase of about 28%.

Covid-19 survivors developed a type of dementia that tended to affect memory and the ability to perform daily tasks, while leaving linguistic abilities and awareness of time and place relatively intact. said leading researcher Dr. Adnan I. Qureshi in a statement Tuesday.

Researchers found no dementia risk associated with Covid-19 pneumonia for people aged 35-70 years, although the study suggested a dementia risk of around 0.2% for people under the age of 35 who had Covid-19 pneumonia, compared to a risk of 0 % for people in the age group who had non-Covid-19 pneumonia.

The average delay between Covid-19 pneumonia and the onset of dementia was 182 days, researchers said.

Surprisingly, cardiovascular disease and risk factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and a history of stroke were more common among patients with non-Covid-19 pneumonia than among patients with Covid-19 pneumonia, researchers found.

Key background

Researchers have struggled to investigate the effect of Covid-19 on the brain and on cognitive function. ONE British Medical Journal examination found that Covid-19 infection is strongly associated with diagnoses of mental disorders – especially diagnoses of depression, anxiety and stress disorders such as PTSD. Covid-19 is also able to affect the structure of the brain in some cases harmful cells associated with the sense of smell, causing permanent odor loss. The mechanism by which coronavirus alters brain structure is still being discussed, and neurological odor loss associated with the virus may be the result of symptoms such as inflammation, rather than damage caused directly by the virus itself. There is also some evidence suggests a link between Covid-19 and Alzheimer’s disease, though researchers warn that it may be decades before it is possible to know for sure whether the virus causes Alzheimer’s. Future research should examine the underlying mechanisms of Covid-19 disease in order to develop strategies for the prevention of disabling conditions such as dementia, the authors say. Open forum infectious diseases study wrote.


ONE JAMA network open examination found that psychiatric disorders can increase the risk of breakthrough infections after vaccination, possibly. weakened immune system among people with certain psychiatric disorders, which may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Further reading

“A Case of Shrunken Brains: How Covid-19 Can Damage Brain Cells” (Forbes)

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