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The risk of dementia may increase after a viral infection

The risk of dementia may increase after a viral infection

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Some viral infections are said to accelerate mental decline. According to a study, this increases the risk of dementia.

If you catch a virus, your immune system is usually weakened for a long time afterward. It may take weeks or even months for the body to recover from the infection. In the worst cases, it can develop into chronic fatigue syndrome. But not only that: As the researchers found, the infection should increase the risk of dementia.

According to the study, the risk of dementia should increase after contracting the virus

After a severe course of COVID-19, Alzheimer’s patients showed particularly severe brain aging in one study. Other viral infections may also accelerate brain deterioration. © Vizquez/Imago

Its in the trade journal nervous cells published Stady Scientists from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) used data from two biological databases from Finland and the UK. There, data from 800,000 patients over 15 years were evaluated. The results of the study show that people who have had certain types of viral infections have an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. These include dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The association can be confirmed in the data analysis. However, the exact cause is still not clear. Because people with dementia generally have a weaker immune system, they may get viral infections more frequently. However, as a second hypothesis, it is also possible that some viral infections can impair the brain. This assumption is also supported by other studies. For example, Alzheimer’s patients show severe brain aging after an acute course of Covid-19.

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Degenerative processes in the brain can be accelerated by infection

The results of the study show that degenerative processes already occurring in the brain can be accelerated by infection. This can also lead to mental decline – with fatal consequences, as old age poses the greatest risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, those who want to prevent memory loss can do so by eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. One type of sport is particularly suitable for preventing dementia.

This article only contains general information on the health topic in question and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about clinical images.