Age-related brain disorders linked to viral infections

American researchers analyzed the medical records of several hundred residents of the UK and

Finland and established the existence of a connection betweenpast viral infection and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. The study found that the severe condition caused by the virus increases the likelihood of developing diseases that damage the nervous system.

At the first stage, researchers studied medicalrecords of 300,000 people stored in FinnGen, the Finnish national data bank. They looked for people diagnosed with one of six neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer's disease, multiple or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, generalized or vascular dementia, and Parkinson's disease. And then they checked whether patients with such diagnoses had previously been to hospitals due to a viral infection (except for cases of coronovirus infection).

They initially found 45 associations betweendiagnosis and previous viral infection. An additional analysis using data from 500,000 Britons from UKBiobank reduced this number to 22 links - a statistically significant correlation between past infection and the development of a neurodegenerative disease.

The study showed that the most connections withvarious viruses observed in generalized dementia: the development of such a disorder was preceded by a variety of infections: viral encephalitis, viral warts, all types of influenza and viral pneumonia. The strongest link was found between encephalitis and Alzheimer's disease: patients who were diagnosed with this viral disease were 20 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's later.

Further analysis showed that only six addictions appear five or more years after a viral infection, the rest are temporary.

It should be noted that the people we studied did notwere sick with a cold. Because of the infections, they were so sick that they had to go to the hospital. The fact that widely used vaccines reduce the risk or severity of many of the viral diseases observed in this study raises the possibility that the risks of neurodegenerative diseases can also be reduced.

Michael Knolls, study co-author

Neurodegenerative disorders damagevarious parts of the nervous system. It usually occurs in adulthood or old age and causes many problems, including thinking, remembering, and moving.

While the current study does not identify the cause-and-effect relationships that lead to neurological dysfunction, it does highlight significant avenues that need to be explored further.

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