No Widgets found in the Sidebar

A new study from the United Kingdom has found that the COVID-19 pandemic may have a lasting impact on the brain health of people aged 50 and older.

The study, published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity, found that regardless of whether or not they were infected with COVID-19, people who participated in the study experienced a decline in cognitive function during the pandemic.

Stress, loneliness and alcohol consumption may account for some of the findings, the researchers said. They added that coping with pandemic-related fear, worry and uncertainty, as well as disruptions to daily life, may have “real and lasting effects” on brain health.

Cognitive decline accelerated in the first year of the pandemic, when the lockdown occurred. In the case of memory problems, this decline continued into the second year. The overall decline was most severe in people who already had some mild memory problems before the pandemic began.

The study’s lead researcher, Professor Anne Corbett of the University of Exeter, said the findings suggest that the new coronavirus pandemic may have accelerated brain decline.

“Our findings suggest that the blockades and other restrictions we experienced during the pandemic had a real and lasting impact on brain health in people aged 50 or over, even after the blockade ended,” said Corbett.

“This raises an important question: whether people are at higher risk of cognitive decline that can lead to dementia.”

Corbett added that support for people with early cognitive decline is needed now more than ever, and that there are steps people can take to reduce their risk of developing dementia later in life.

“If you are concerned about your memory, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your GP and have an assessment,” she said.

COVID-19 Pandemic May Cause Brain Decline in People Over 50, UK Study Finds

Dr. Dorina Kadar, a dementia specialist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said the impact of the epidemic on the general population was “catastrophic”.

Many of the long-term consequences of Covid-19 or restrictions imposed around the world remain unknown,” she said.

Kadar called for more research, but said that while the findings do not prove cause and effect, there is growing evidence that some of the factors described, such as social isolation, negatively affect brain health.

Dr. Susan Mitchell of Alzheimer’s Disease Research UK says that while genetics play an important role in the health of the brain as we age, we know that a range of health and lifestyle factors can also affect our brain health.

Mitchell says, “Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent dementia, but in the meantime, taking care of our brains can at least help increase our chances of developing the disease.”

“It’s never too early or too late to consider adopting healthy habits, which include taking care of your heart health, staying connected and staying sharp.”

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *