COVID-19 increases risk of developing Alzheimer’s in older adults within one year by 80%

CLEVELAND — The long-term, lingering effects of COVID-19 are as well-documented as they are mysterious. Doctors and scientists are still working to fully grasp how SARS-CoV-2 impacts the body and the mind. Now, researchers from Case Western Reserve University report that older adults who contract COVID may be anywhere from 50 to 80 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s within a year.

After analyzing over six million people, study authors found people over the age of 65 who contracted COVID-19 were much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s within a year of their illness in comparison to a control group. Women over the age of 85 were the most at risk of experiencing severe cognitive decline.

More specifically, researchers say Alzheimer’s risk among older people nearly doubled (0.35% to 0.68%) over a one-year period post COVID-19 infection. As far as why this is happening, study authors can’t say at this time if COVID-19 triggers new Alzheimer’s cases or simply speeds up its onset.

“The factors that play into the development of Alzheimer’s disease have been poorly understood, but two pieces considered important are prior infections, especially viral infections, and inflammation,” says study co-author Pamela Davis, Distinguished University Professor and The Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin Research Professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, in a university release.

“Since infection with SARS-CoV2 has been associated with central nervous system abnormalities including inflammation, we wanted to test whether, even in the short term, COVID could lead to increased diagnoses.”

The wave of Alzheimer’s cases ‘will be substantial’

Researchers analyzed anonymous electronic health records encompassing 6.2 million American adults 65 and older who received medical treatment between February 2020 and May 2021. These participants also had no history or prior diagnosis of dementia.

Study authors then divided the individuals into two groups: one consisting of people who contracted COVID-19 during that period, and another featuring people who never had COVID. The coronavirus group included over 400,000 people, while the non-COVID group consisted of 5.8 million people.

“If this increase in new diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease is sustained, the wave of patients with a disease currently without a cure will be substantial, and could further strain our long-term care resources,” Prof. Davis explains.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a serious and challenging disease, and we thought we had turned some of the tide on it by reducing general risk factors such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Now, so many people in the U.S. have had COVID and the long-term consequences of COVID are still emerging. It is important to continue to monitor the impact of this disease on future disability.”

Corresponding author Rong Xu, a professor of Biomedical Informatics at the School of Medicine and director of the Center for AI in Drug Discovery, adds that study authors plan to continue researching the effects of COVID-19 on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders — especially when it comes to specific subgroups in the population that may be more vulnerable. They’ll also be looking at the potential to repurpose FDA-approved drugs to treat COVID-19’s long-term effects.

The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

YouTube video

Follow on Google News

About the Author

John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. Is it covid infection or vaccines causing this anticipated and current rise in Alzeimers? Too bad the study is not including vaccine status and number of doses. This age group of over 65 is the most heavily vaccinated and boosted. My 86 year old father has suffered a near immediate decline in his physical health and stamina following his booster as well as new onset memory loss. He never had covid.

    1. We know exactly what caused this spike…. They are too afraid to say it for fear of retaliation by the genocidal maniacs running the Country. I would bet my life that this is 100% directly related to the vaccine…. Yet- they keep pushing it- people are being dumbed down to not be able to think for themselves. Not to say that having Had COV 19 without being vaxed doesn’t still carry some long term effects ….. but the correlation is crystal clear!!

      1. Typical left wing response, calling everyone names for not supporting the left’s agenda, which by the way it has failed !!! Almost everyone that was vaccinated and boosted got Covid and some 2 and 3 times !!!

    2. Did you even read the article? They are measuring the effect of having been infected with COVID -19 vs not having being infected with COVID_19 on incidence of Alzheimer. Unless you want to argue vaccination increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 it doesn’t have an impact.

      Vaccination status could certainly be a subject of study but not relevant to accounting for data in study. Americans have complete lake of logic reason and scientific thinking skills.

      1. Well, there very well may be a connection and reason why the shot is relevant here. The common denominator is the spike protein, which does not stay at the injection site like we were told it did. Pfizer’s own bio-distribution data show that it spreads throughout the body.

    3. And my 91 year old MIL has never had COVID AND has received all her boosters without issue 🤷‍♀️

  2. I suspected that catching Covid affected health long term; this virus is man made iea bio weapon and wellbeing designed to harm people as much as possible. I have noticed surprising new memory lapses since having Covid a few weeks ago; never had one before. I am in my 50s. It is worrying, horrifying. Who knows what other damage this weapon is doing to people. I also am a lot weaker I feel since I got Covid; can’t walk as far or lift as much all suddenly happened. Of course the injections are weapons also with even children dying of heart problems after being ‘vaccinated’ Eugenicists ruke the world eg WEF, Gates and many more including the new King of the UK….(keen WEF member with Schwab who openly say that mist if the human race is ‘useless’..

  3. No mention of a gene altering mass experiment using the general public as guinea pigs in that article, I wonder why?

    1. Actually genetic factors in sporadic AD are rare. The reason for why mutations that triggered AD has been largely identified. But age is the common factor in sporadic disease, although some risk factors exist, they do not affect directly the structure of amyloid beta. But, plaque is not a causative agent, but most likely a protective one.

  4. Sounds like America’s and worlds future is all taken care of,dead,dying or Alzheimers,what a future

  5. Interesting, yet not surprising. The reports of loss of smell were already a red flag. But COVID-19 is not the only infectious agent triggering AD, indeed, herpes and some bacteria and parasites, have been associated with the disease. Likely the result of formation of aberrant amyloid oligomers, not plaque, combined with inflammation and a decrease in the immune system capacity to block these oligomers as we age. Therefore, an effective way to avoid AD, is by preventive vaccination. An effort that has been a victim or poor science, parochialism, and other factors. Considering the nature of this disease, treatment will be quite difficult and it possibly, costly. Perhaps, it is time to accept and remedy the mistakes of the past, rather than ignoring them.

  6. I am not a Dr. I am and Engineer who did graduate school in statistics. It appears Darwin’s theory of evolution is hard at work here. Many of those opposed to the vaccine have their excuses. I understand “some” of them. Unfortunately I started tracking stats in January of 2020 while in southeast Asia when we were calling it the Wuhan Flu. I do stats for a local physician and several epidemiologists. Two plus years later and I have lost several friends and two neighbors to the virus. All were “anti vaccine”. The numbers that I have collected and published have shown the vaccines to be quite effective and contrary to popular “rumor, myth or lies” they are not responsible for mass deaths and extended hospital stays. Covid-19 is. Be aware that “long Covid” will place a strain on our medical systems and the families it affects.

Comments are closed.