Infectious Disease & Neurodegeneration

HBI Blog / Infectious Disease & Neurodegeneration
Neurodegeneration

A nationwide case control study done in Sweden links how hospital related infections (nosocomial infections) in early life can be related to a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD) & Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Neurodegeneration data analysis

  • Out of almost 12 million individuals, 300k people developed AD, 100k had Parkinson’s and 10k had ALS.
  • Doctors also found out that a hospital-treated infection prior (5 or more years) to the diagnosis increased the risk of developing AD & PD by 16% and 4% respectively.
  • People under 40 had the biggest risk of developing AD while the risk for developing PD was 40% higher.
  • Even though multiple shreds of evidence involve AD & PD, there isn’t any solid evidence illustrating the link between ALS and hospital-related infections.

Some possible Limitations

  • All the possible risk or protective factors for neurodegenerative conditions remain unknown.
  • From the time when the study was conducted (1970-2016) until now, medicine and clinical practices have undergone changes and advancements. Therefore, if the results from this study will apply to today’s patients or not remains a question.
  • The individuals that were involved in the study were all Swedish, including their ancestors, so the result may not apply to other ethnic groups.



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