New research shows COVID-19 is associated with long-term cognitive dysfunction - Alzheimer's Society comments

New research presented today (Thursday 29th July) at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), held in Denver, USA, found associations between COVID-19 and persistent cognitive deficits, including the acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

Many people experience loss of smell and taste and ‘brain fog’ after a COVID-19 infection.

For some, these symptoms persist, and researchers in an international consortium are working to understand the mechanism behind this brain dysfunction and what it means for long term cognitive health. 

Dr Richard Oakley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: 

‘Although on first glance these results about the link between Covid-19 and problems with cognition may seem concerning, at this stage we don’t know how suffering from Covid symptoms such as ‘brain fog’ or loss of taste or smell might play into our risk of getting dementia.

‘Research looking into the long- term impact of coronavirus is absolutely vital, especially if there’s a potential association with the diseases causing dementia.
‘Someone develops dementia every three minutes – we owe it to them to understand the condition better.

‘Our research discovered that the underlying disease starts years before symptoms appear, giving us opportunities to test new treatments earlier. However, to do this we need the Government to commit to double dementia research funding as, with financial support, one day we hope to find a cure for dementia.’

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