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Alzheimer’s and Long Covid, Could They Be Linked?




Joplin, Mo. (KSNF/Code) — Many people lost their sense of smell and taste after being infected with COVID. And some didn’t grow back for a while.

Could it indicate cognitive impairment later in life?

Dr. Rob McNab, COVID Director at Freeman Health System, lost his sense of taste and smell when he contracted COVID three years ago. In fact, he says it hasn’t returned to normal yet.

So is he part of the population prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease? He says he wouldn’t be surprised if he was.

“Interestingly, it has been known for decades that one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is loss of smell and taste, and that it is unrelated to viral infections like Covid, and that in the brain. It has something to do with the parts that contribute to overall dementia risk,” says Dr. McNab.

Our brains are wired, so smells often evoke memories of the past, says Dr. McNab.

“How we process memories is definitely related to the olfactory lobe, or smell. , smell is already part of our memory machine,” he added.

Since COVID is only a few years old, we don’t have enough data to determine whether there is a definitive link between the two. Until long-term studies are done and show a definitive correlation, people with symptoms of the novel coronavirus like him will need to take control of some aspects of their health, he says.

“Manage stress, get plenty of sleep, eat a very healthy diet with a focus on whole foods and plant-based diets, anything that reduces cardiovascular risk, manage blood pressure and cholesterol, and of course if you have diabetes. , the more tightly we manage it, the lower the risk,” says Dr. McNab.




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