Increasing dementia risk

ORLANDO, Fl. - If you fought through COVID, especially if you are 65 years or older, the disease might have caused some lingering effects.

A study from the University of Missouri found patients who developed COVID-19 pneumonia had a higher risk of developing dementia.

Another study from Case Western Reserve University found people 65 and older who got COVID were about 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's within a year of their infection. But COVID is not the only surprising risk factor.

“Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients here in the US are women,” explained Sepi Shokouhi, and assistant professor formerly with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Studies show the reason for women being more likely to get dementia than men is not solely due to the fact that women live longer. Researchers found an abnormal protein linked to dementia was more widespread in women’s brains.

“I can predict that sex will be more strongly integrated in future precision medicine in Alzheimer’s disease," said Shokouhi.

And the medications you take can increase your risk.

Taking an anticholinergic, such as Benadryl and Clozapine, for three years or more was associated with a 54 percent higher dementia risk.

Some good news. Just walking can lower your risk for dementia. Researchers found that walking four thousand steps a day lowers your dementia risk by 25 percent, while reaching ten thousand steps a day lowers it by 50 percent.