A new British study recently found that the original SARS-CoV-2 virus (i.e. Wuhan strain) can impair cognitive ability in a way equivalent to making the brain age by two decades. Currently, 67 percent of the world’s population has been vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. Is it possible that the vaccines themselves can also cause aging damage?
Nevertheless, there’s no need to worry, aging is proven to be a process, and there is a way to help reverse the aging process.
Patients’ Aging Brains
The study was published in the journal EClinicalMedicine. Experts from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London Medical School evaluated the cognitive effects of the COVID-19 infection in humans.
The research subjects consisted of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized for severe illness between March and July 2020.
After these patients’ recovery from acute infection, the researchers conducted follow-up visits for an average of six months to analyze and evaluate their anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. The researchers discovered a significant decline in the patients’ attention, complex problem solving skills, and memory, along with reduced accuracy and prolonged reaction time.
These cognitive deficits are similar to the cognitive decline a person would experience between the ages of 50 to 70, which is equivalent to aging by two decades and losing 10 IQ points.
In addition, the recovery of cognitive ability is very slow in patients with COVID-19 infections.
COVID-19 Infection Can Accelerate the ‘Epigenetic Aging Clock’
Why does COVID-19 infection cause abnormal aging? Let’s first take a look at one concept.
The relationship between genes and epigenetics are like seeds and soil. Genes are like seeds, while epigenetics is like soil. Genes in the human body do not usually change after birth. They are like “seeds” that lie dormant in the soil, and some will grow, and some will not. What determines whether these seeds will grow or not are the genetic “switches,” or “epigenetics.”
“Epigenetics” is the study of these factors that affect genes being turned on or off. Specifically, one common type of gene switch—“DNA methylation”—can change the expression of genes, shutting them down and making them non-functional.