Alzheimer's disease is an incurable and debilitating neurodegenerative condition that result in progressive degeneration and / or death of nerve cells causing problems with movement (called ataxias), or mental functioning (called dementias).
A study conducted in Brazil by researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) and Butantan Institute in partnership with colleagues at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia to investigate the risk of progressing to the severe form of COVID-19 or dying from the disease in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients.
‘Pay special attention to COVID-19 infected Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients.’
They investigated data on positive diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 of 12,863 patients over 65, who tested positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2 by stratifying them into three age groups: 66-74 (6,182), 75-79 (4,867), and 80-86 (1,814).
The study discovers that Alzheimer's disease and dementia increases threefold and six times greater if they are over 80 of risk of dying as a result of infection by COVID-19 as many old people live in care homes where the risks of infection and viral transmission are greater.
A possible explanation for this finding is that chronic inflammatory conditions or defective immune responses due to aging of the immune system (immunosenescence) increases the vulnerability to response to infection by the virus and the altered permeability of the blood-brain barrier, making infection of the central nervous system more likely.
These findings are supported by recent research explaining the ability of coronavirus to invade the central nervous system via the olfactory mucosa by detection of the virus in the brainstem raising the possibility of infection of the central nervous system may mediate or aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular problems in COVID-19 patients.
The results of the study raise the special attention to COVID-19 infected Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients.