In the first part of the study, 300,000 people were analyzed. Medical records, Focus on new diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, generalized dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or vascular dementia. For each new diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease, the researchers checked whether the patient had any prior history of a viral infection.
after the initial detection 45 Possible links between viral infection and brain diseaseThe researchers tested these links in another database containing the medical records of 100,000 other people. patients, focusing on 22 identified associations.
These findings greatly expand our understanding of the relationship between viral infections and neurodegenerative diseases, but they also raise some important questions. The database allowed the researchers to go back a maximum of 15 years, so it is not known if the link will persist beyond this period – but it is known that Most of the associations were strongest in the first year after injury, and the more time passed, the weaker associations were detected.
This means that It is possible that the viral infection is only accelerating the degenerative process that is already underway Or the early stages of a neurodegenerative disease before symptoms appear cause a type of immune dysregulation that makes a person more susceptible to severe viral infections. Simply put, it is possible that, for example, a hospitalization for influenza with pneumonia reported 5 years before the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease actually occurred 5 years after the onset of the degenerative process.
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