Covid increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases

Covid increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases

“More and more scientific studies support and confirm the neuro-inflammatory aspect presented by Sars-CoV-2 disease, better known as Covid-19. The histological, neuroradiological and clinical aspects of patients affected by the virus show that regardless of its origin directly linked to the virus, or to the systemic consequences caused by it, patients suffer from inflammation in the brain ”. This was stated by Arianna Di Stadio, neuroscientist at the University of Catania and honorary researcher at the Neuroinflammation Laboratory of the Ucl Queen Square Neurology in London, who coordinated the first study in the world on the connection between memory loss and anosmia and ageusia in the syndrome of long Covid, published in the journal ‘Brain Sciences’. Work attended by Angelo Camaioni,

“We know that neuro-inflammatory phenomena are linked to a series of neuro-degenerative diseases such as, for example, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; for this reason, the research has considered the genetic predisposition of some subjects to understand a possible increased (long-term) risk of neurodegeneration as a consequence of Sars-CoV-2 infection – recalls the neuroscientist -. Currently, we are aware that some viruses, such as Ebstein-Barr, are implicated in the genesis of some cancers. From this experience, the question arose whether Covid-19 disease could also be linked to the increased risk of future neurological diseases. Recent studies, currently under review in scientific journals, have shown that the virus could cause an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases ”. “The studies have been carried out on tissues, so they do not take into account all those adjustment mechanisms that are implemented by our body every day to fight the alterations created by the environment, such as genetic mutations that can cause tumors. For this reason, although of absolute scientific validity, these studies must be considered as observational and not cause and effect ”, recalls Di Stadio.

“Neuroinflammation is certainly an established phenomenon and therefore needs to be taken into consideration. Several therapies are being studied to combat neurodegenerative diseases, all aimed at treating existing damage. Another issue, however, is the prevention of them – adds Di Stadio -. A recent clinical study conducted on a large sample of patients suffering from persistent post-Covid-19 anosmia has shown that in the acute / subacute inflammation phase it is possible to treat the event with recovery of the olfactory capacity. This study was focused on a specific problem, but the authors are studying whether the same treatment could also be effective on other post-Covid symptoms, such as memory disorders “. “Further research focused on treatments for both acute / subacute and chronic neuroinflammation is absolutely necessary. To date, however, the only weapon available, regardless of a possible long-term effect of Covid-19, is its prevention through early treatment of neuroinflammation ”, concludes the neuroscientist.

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