Can COVID-19 Affect People With Dementia? Know The Cause And Risk Factors For This Neurological Disorder

Dementia and COVID-19 can have adverse effect on patient suffering from either of the two diseases. Know how corona affects people with dementia.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 13, 2021
Can COVID-19 Affect People With Dementia? Know The Cause And Risk Factors For This Neurological Disorder

In times such as these when moving out of your house could be a possible threat of COVID-19, it is tough to maintain your mental strength. With surging cases and people we know getting infected with corona, thinking of it creates panic among many of us. Negativity has surrounded us all and has put our minds under pressure and stress. All this stress and negativity can lead to many health problems. Therefore keeping good mental health is vital in such scenario. Talking of mental health, dementia and neurological disorders are some of the key conditions which arise in such situation. So does it have something to do with corona? Let’s find out.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a collective term which is used to describe various neurological disorders which as cognitive decline, forgetfulness and brain disorders. People having dementia have increased risk of experiencing poor immunity and vulnerability to diseases. Dementia is dangerous are many conditions as underlining conditions can take the person to life-threatening consequences. In current scenario, people suffering from COVID-19 are more vulnerable to dementia and its probable causes. 

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How Is Dementia Related To COVID-19?

Dementia may not be directly related to COVID but it is related to the outcomes of the viral infection. Psychologist Dr. Tanu Singh practicing in Healthcare Clinic, Lucknow elaborates how COVID-19 can affect people with dementia or cause neurological disorders. She says that in general the conditions aren’t suitable for anyone around to live freely. The constraint COVID has put on us has resulted to mental trauma in most people and hearing about their dear ones getting infected has increased the chances of neurological disorders. 

It is hard to say that COVID can cause dementia as there are no specific reports for that but conditions like these can definitely increase the probability of having dementia. People who go through isolation have a difficult time surviving corona and apart from physical disabilities it puts a lot of stress and self doubt on that person. Root cause of all the neurological conditions starts from there itself, the ability to absorb stress is flushed out and it affects your immune system too. All these conditions somehow worsen the situations for COVID patients and make him vulnerable to severe infection. 

Therefore it is important to be in the right frame of mind at this situation and focus on the positive part as much as possible. Try exercises and hobbies for your pass time and if your are infected or isolated with COVID-19, then keep in touch with your loved ones on a regular basis and avoid negative information around you.

What Are The Possible Symptoms of Dementia?

Dementia is not limited to a particular disease hence the symptoms can vary according to the type of neurological disorder. COVID can also affect these symptoms which may be difficult to trace then. Some common observation of people suffering with dementia include-

  • Recent Memory Loss
  • Difficulty competing with familiar tasks
  • Communication barriers
  • Disorientation
  • Problems related to abstract thinking
  • Misplacing things
  • Mood changes
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of initiative

All of these problems can be a sign of having dementia or neurological disorder issues. It may not be severe but one should be aware of it to avoid any health complications. Age could also play a part in this; the elder people are more prone to having neurological issues than younger generation.

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Effect of Dementia on COVID-19

Dementia is somehow connected to COVID in a way that it can affect the patient or a person suffering with dementia may be affected with corona. Studies from WHO shows that dementia can act as a brain-blood barrier which can make them vulnerable to bacterial infections.  Memory impairment interferes with patient’s ability to adhere with COVID-19 measures and hence leading to threat of corona virus infection. 

Dementia also increases the chances of hospitalisation of COVID patient and increases the risk of contracting. Especially people suffering from vascular dementia are at high risk of mortality if they get infected with COVID-19.  It is not evident yet but it may be possible that there could be a possible indication of cerebrovascular pathology in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Also people with dementia have risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type-2 diabetes which increases the risk of severe COVID-19 infection.

Also Read- Can COVID-19 Increase Risk Of Pulmonary Hypertension? Know Causes And Risk Factor

Stages of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment

It can be called general forgetfulness. It affects most of the people as they grow old but a disease like corona can also put the person into such impairment of memory. 

Mild Dementia

People with dementia can experience wide range of emotional instability which can result to cognitive impairment that can affect their lives. Symptoms of these can include memory loss, confusion, personality changes, getting lost, and difficulty in planning and carrying out tasks. It can be very irritating for people sometimes and hence in this condition it is best to refer to an expert.

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Moderate Dementia

In this type of dementia the challenges of life are increased and the person is unable to perform his daily tasks properly. The symptoms of moderate dementia are similar to that of mild dementia just the parameters are higher than in earlier case. Individuals may even need help in getting dressed and combing their hair. There may be changes in personality and how that person reacts of certain situations. He may becomes suspicious or agitated for no reason and have disturbance while sleeping.

Severe Dementia

This is worse condition of Dementia when the symptoms worsen and the person can lose his ability to perform general tasks. There may be problem in communicating and the person might need a full time care. The person may lose control over his bladder, he might even have problem sitting straight or in a position for long.

Also Read- Tobacco Consumption Can Cause These Chronic Gum Diseases

Conclusion

Dementia is a set of neurological disorders which can differ from person to person. Elderly people are at a higher risk of developing dementia but COVID-19 has affected people adversely. COVID protocols are hard to follow and isolation can affect the life cycle of people of a big extent. It is observed that people with COVID are at risk of developing dementia and neurological disorders and those who are suffering from it are at high risk of mortality. This is quite scary in a condition like this when the cases of COVID-19 are surging all time high. Dementia can be classifies into 4 types. Be aware of the symptoms and seek medical help if you find such symptoms in people near you. 

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