The challenges of COVID-19 for people with dementia with Lewy bodies and family caregivers

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Killen, Alison 
Olsen, Kirsty 
McKeith, Ian G 
Thomas, Alan J 

Introduction During the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic dementia has been identified as disproportionally common in adults aged over 65 who develop severe COVID-19.1 Observational data from the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium also confirms a high prevalence of dementia in older adults hospitalised with COVID-19.2 It is so far unclear whether there is any direct effect of dementia pathologies as dementia is a disease of old age, and thus likely to be associated with a variety of comorbidities, in particular, frailty, which may further exacerbate the risk of severe infection. In addition up to one third of COVID patients have demonstrated neurological sequelae3 and there may be both direct (viral infection within the brain, vascular effects) and indirect effects (e.g. host immunological response, impact of treatment) of SARS-CoV-2 on the brain.4 It is therefore possible that SARS-CoV-2 infection may accentuate any pre-existing neurodegenerative disease.

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International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
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John Wiley and Sons
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