Risk of brain and nerve problems 42% higher within year of catching COVID, study shows

Brain and nerve conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke are significantly more common among COVID-19 survivors than those who’ve never had the disease, according to a study of millions of patient records that raises alarms about the pandemic’s devastating aftereffects.

Former COVID-19 patients had a 42% increased risk of neurological problems a year after testing positive, the study published Thursday in the journal Nature Medicine showed. That translates to an extra seven cases of impaired cognition, memory disorders, Parkinson’s-like diseases and dozens of other brain-related conditions for every 100 people who caught the coronavirus, according to scientists led by Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System.

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