Scientists from across the world will present their findings on how COVID-19 affects the brain this week amid a new study that has identified mechanisms by which COVID can lead to Alzheimer’s disease-like dementia.
The scientists are meeting at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, which gets underway in Denver on Monday, July 26.
Research that has been conducted up till now has been concerning.
A Cleveland Clinic study discovered a link between infections of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and brain changes that are commonly seen in those with Alzheimer’s disease.
"We found significant network-based relationships between COVID-19 and neuroinflammation and brain microvascular injury pathways and processes which are implicated in AD (Alzheimer’s disease)," the study, published in the Alzheimer's Research & Therapy journal, stated.
"Our results suggest a significant mechanistic overlap between AD and COVID, centered on neuroinflammation and microvascular injury.
"These results help improve our understanding of COVID-19-associated neurological manifestations and provide guidance for future development of preventive or treatment interventions, although causal relationship and mechanistic pathways between COVID-19 and AD need future investigations."
In the study, the researchers harnessed artificial intelligence using existing datasets of patients with Alzheimer’s and COVID.
Reports of neurological complications in COVID patients and “long-hauler” patients whose symptoms persist after the infection clears are becoming more common, suggesting that COVID may have lasting effects on brain function, the Cleveland Clinic study said.
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