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Alzheimer's increases chance of death by Covid-19 three-fold: study

Publicado em 23 abril 2021

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 35 million people worldwide and, according to a study Instituto Butantan, USP and UFRJ, can increase the risk of death by Covid-19

The results were shown in an article published in the magazine “Alzheimer's Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association”, on Wednesday (21), with the support of Fapesp, Faperj and CNPq.


In addition to increasing the chance of death, Alzheimer's also showed have an infection rate by Covid-19 higher when in patients over 80 years old. In general, this condition is found in people with neurodegenerative diseases, even if they receive treatment.

“Our results showed, first, that patients with Alzheimer's and dementia are much more likely to be infected than patients without dementia. In addition, once infected, they have a much greater chance of needing hospitalization by Covid, that is, of having severe illnesses or of dying than patients without dementia ”, explains URFJ professor Sergio Ferreira, one of the leaders of the study.

Alzheimer's and Covid-19

As there is no advanced and complete system of patient records in Brazil, the researchers used a UK database. According to scientists, the only country in the world that has medical records of all citizens filed since 2006.

Even with the results, the researchers have not yet been able to discover exactly the reasons that lead to the highest death rate from Covid-19 in Alzheimer's patients.

"There is some factor, which we have not yet identified, but the results of our work already show that it is necessary to give special attention to these patients when they are admitted, also because those who have Alzheimer's are at a much higher risk of death", he also explains USP professor Sergio Verjovski to G1.

Previous studies have already shown that diseases that cause Demencia were risk factors for Covid-19. But the current study shows that, in addition to increasing the chances of infection, it also increases the death rate in a group that is already at greater risk precisely because they are mostly elderly.

“We are looking at the data already available from genome sequencing of all individuals from the UK bank. We are looking for genes that may be altered in all Alzheimer's patients who died of Covid-19 or became serious in the hospital, in order to find the possible responsible for the worsening in this situation ”, concludes Verjovski.

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