New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS): Being infected with Covid could cause more damage to the brain of an elderly person than developing Alzheimer's, a new study revealed.
A research team from the New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine found that some elderly Covid survivors may be afflicted with a condition called toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME), the Daily Mail reported.
The researchers found that people who had developed the condition as a result of Covid infection were showing more severe signs of brain damage than people who had Alzheimer's in blood screenings.
Patients who had contracted TME tested 60 per cent higher on screenings to detect brain damage.
The study was conducted during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, so whether the data is also applicable to the Omicron or Delta variants is not yet known.
A virus spreading as fast Covid having such a severe side effect is a worrying prospect, the report added.
"Our findings suggest that patients hospitalized for Covid-19, and especially in those experiencing neurological symptoms during their acute infection, may have levels of brain injury markers that are as high as, or higher than, those seen in people who have Alzheimer's disease," said Jennifer Frontera, lead author of the study and professor at NYU Grossman.
A person can develop TME after being infected by a virus, or sometimes even after going under anesthesia for surgery, the report said.
It forms when cells in the body turn toxic and prevent the body from undergoing basic functions. It can cause severe inflammation of the brain which can cause cognitive issues.