An article published by ABC news in Australia recently (21/11/23) discussed how from early in the pandemic, scientists warned COVID-19 could cause long-term health issues. Now, research is cautiously linking COVID inflammation to increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autoimmune conditions, and premature birth. This is concerning as Australia faces a new Omicron wave.
Studies show COVID patients have higher subsequent rates of death, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological conditions. Though the research has limitations, the findings across many studies consistently point to heightened susceptibility after COVID infection in vulnerable people.
At the cellular level, Australian researchers found brain cells showed a strong inflammatory response when infected with COVID. Their experiments also revealed Parkinson’s proteins produced a “synergistic” reaction when combined with low-level COVID, suggesting the virus may act as a risk factor.
History indicates pandemics can increase later-life diagnosis of conditions like Parkinson’s. Researchers warn that if COVID triggers these diseases, their onset could accelerate — for example, Parkinson’s developing in people’s 40s instead of their 60s. This is being investigated in ongoing and proposed studies.
Beyond neurodegenerative disease, COVID is also increasingly tied to greater risk of autoimmune conditions in the months after infection. However, experts caution more research is needed over long timeframes to definitively conclude COVID causes these diseases, rather than just priming susceptibility.
n summary, early research consistently points to likely long-term health impacts from COVID due to inflammation. This includes real concerns around heightened risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in vulnerable populations. Further research, including long-term monitoring, is critically needed.
You can read the full article here.