Covid-related loss of smell might be linked to cognitive impairment: Study

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Srishti Singh SisodiaUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 12:30 AM IST
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COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s: Preliminary findings of a study suggest that there may be a link between Covid-related loss of smell might be linked to cognitive impairment 

The lost sense of smell has been one of the major symptoms that act as an identifier for coronavirus (COVID-19) from the beginning. After the deadly virus was first reported in late 2019, people were not aware of its symptoms. At that time, loss of smell and taste were presumably the early symptoms of Covid. 

Apart from that, the lost sense of smell was considered to be a warning sign for dementia. Now, researchers are probing whether Covid-related loss of smell might also be associated with cognitive decline. 

Preliminary findings of a study which was presented on Sunday (July 31) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego suggest that there may be a link between Covid-related loss of smell might be linked to cognitive impairment. 

Some studies have established that some Covid patients later develop cognitive impairment after their infection. Although, the experts have said that more research is needed to establish a concrete result regarding whether or not Covid-related loss of smell can be linked to cognitive decline.  

A recent study stated that about five per cent of patients with confirmed cases of Covid are estimated to have suffered a long-lasting loss of smell or taste. Such cases are potentially contributing to the burden of long Covid. 

Now, in the new study, the researchers in Argentina found that loss of smell during Covid may be a stronger predictor of cognitive decline. Notably, the study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

 Gabriela Gonzalez-Aleman, who is the study co-author, said, "Our data strongly suggest that adults over 60 years of age are more vulnerable to cognitive impairment post-Covid if they had a smell dysfunction, regardless of the severity of the Covid." 

Gabriela, who is a professor at Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina in Buenos Aires, added that it's too soon to tell if the cognitive impairment is permanent. 


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