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COVID-19: Sustained cognitive effect, elevated biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease




Cognitive impairment correlated with persistent anosmia in the elderly recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Large international consortium Indicated.

The severity of cognitive impairment was significantly correlated with the severity of sensory dysfunction (χ)2= 13.82, NS= 0.003) However, the severity of acute COVID-19 is not reported in Gabriel de Eraskin, MD, Ph.D., Master’s, 2021 at the San Antonio Health Science Center, University of Texas. Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), virtually held in Denver.

In another study published at AAIC, biological markers of brain injury, neuroinflammation, and Alzheimer’s disease were strongly correlated with the presence of neurological symptoms in patients with COVID-19, Thomas Wisniewski of New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. The doctor reported.

In addition, according to George Vavugios, MD, University of Thessaly, people experiencing cognitive decline after SARS-CoV-2 infection have low oxygen saturation after brief exercise and are generally ill. It is highly possible. Greece.

“I don’t know anything about the course of COVID-19’s illness,” said de Erausquin. Today’s MedPage.

“It can progress as dementia, stay stable for a long time, or even improve,” he said. “The research aims to answer this question.”

In their study, de Erausquin and co-workers evaluated olfactory dysfunction and chronic cognitive impairment after SARS-CoV-2 infection in 233 elderly people in the Andes, Argentina, and had no history of COVID. Compared with 64 matched controls. Participants were studied within 3-6 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The average age of the participants was 67 years and the average education was 9.35 years of formal learning.

More than half of people have presented persistent and serious problems with oblivion. Approximately a quarter had additional cognitive problems, such as language and higher brain dysfunction. The only predictor of cognitive impairment was anosmia that lasted for at least 3-6 months, de Erausquin said.

“This study only covers one age group over the age of 60,” he pointed out. “So far, we haven’t looked at biomarkers of brain inflammation or damage, but we’re using plasma samples. We’re looking at Native Americans, a specific ethnic group. No imaging data. Still longitudinal. We have data, but we plan to follow up with the same person within a year. “

“A clear link is beginning to be seen between COVID-19 and cognitive problems months after infection,” said de Erausquin. “To better understand the long-term neurological effects of COVID-19, it is imperative to continue studying this population and other populations around the world for longer periods of time.”

Elevated biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease

Wisniewski et al. Found plasma biomarkers total tau (t-tau), neurofilament light (NfL), glial fibrous acid protein (GFAP), ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), and amyloid beta species (Aβ40). , Aβ42) was evaluated. Phosphorylated tau (ptau-181) in COVID-19 patients-indicators of brain injury, neuroinflammation, and Alzheimer’s disease-.

The researchers evaluated plasma samples from 310 patients admitted to New York University Langone Health. All were positive for SARS-CoV-2: 158 showed neurological symptoms and 152 did not. Those with new neurological symptoms were older (median 71 vs. 63 years).

The most common neurological symptomatology was confusion due to toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME), which accounted for 51% of new neurological diagnoses.

Among those who were initially cognitively normal, researchers found higher levels of t-tau, NfL, and GFAP in COVID-19 patients with TME compared to COVID-19 patients without TME. , Ptau-181, and UCH-L1 were found. There was no significant difference in Aβ1-40, but the ptau / Aβ42 ratio showed a significant difference in TME patients.

Tau, NfL, UCH-L1, and GFAP were also significantly correlated with inflammatory markers containing C-reactive peptides. This may suggest disruption of the inflammation-related blood-brain barrier associated with nerve or glial damage, Wisniewski said.

“These findings indicate that patients infected with COVID-19 may accelerate Alzheimer’s-related symptoms and conditions, but that clearly requires longer follow-up,” he said. rice field.

Post-COVID cognitive decline and health

In a study by the Vavougios group, which was also part of the global SARS-CoV-2 consortium, researchers found that 32 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who were previously admitted two months after discharge had cognitive impairment. I studied health measures. The average age of participants was 62 years and had no history of neurodegenerative disease or stroke prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

More than half (56.2%) of the participants MoCA score Under 24 years old. The main pattern of cognitive impairment was short-term memory impairment or multi-domain impairment without short-term memory impairment.

Poor cognitive test scores increase age, waist circumference, and waist-hip ratio. Deterioration of memory and thinking scores was independently associated with decreased oxygen saturation levels during the 6-minute gait test after adjusting for age and gender.

“Oxygen-deprived brains are unhealthy, and persistent deprivation is very likely to contribute to cognitive impairment,” Vavougios observed. “These data suggest some common biological mechanisms between the cognitive impairment spectrum of COVID-19 and malaise after COVID-19, which have been anecdotally reported over the past few months. I am. “

“These new data show a disturbing tendency to indicate that COVID-19 infection leads to persistent cognitive impairment and even symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Alzheimer’s Disease Association’s Vice President of Medicine and Science. Said Dr. Heather Snyder.

“With more than 180 million cases and nearly 4 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has devastated the entire world,” she said. “It is imperative to continue to study what this virus does to our body and brain.”

Last updated: July 29, 2021

  • Judy George Covering MedPage Today’s neurology and neuroscience news, brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, MS, rare diseases, epilepsy, autism, headache, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, concussion, CTE, sleep, I’m writing about pain and so on. follow


The studies presented by de Erausquin were funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, Fundación de Lucha contralos Trastornos Neurológicosy Psiquiátricosen Minorías (FULTRA), Zachry Foundation Distinguished Chair of Alzheimer’s Clinical Care and Research, and Greehey Family Foundation Distinguished University Chair of Alzheim.

The work presented by Wisniewski was supported by the National Institute of Health and Aging.

The study presented by Vavougios was funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework Scholarship.




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