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Communication

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Cognition of People with Dementia

1
Neurology Unit, S. Andrea Hospital, Department of Translational Medicine, University of Piemonte Orientale, Corso Abbiate 21, 13100 Vercelli, Italy
2
School of Psychology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, 20132 Milan, Italy
3
Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases (IRCAD), University of Piemonte Orientale, 28100 Novara, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas Volken and Hiroyuki Noda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084285
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 6 April 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 18 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemics: Impact on Health Care and Health Care Professions)
(1) Background: To limit the COVID-19 outbreak, the Italian government implemented social restrictions that may have had psychological and cognitive repercussions on people with dementia. We aimed to analyze cognitive decline during the pandemic year in people evaluated in a memory clinic in northern Italy, the epicenter of COVID-19 spread. (2) Methods: A single-center retrospective study was carried out, including individuals with annual follow-up evaluated in three different years (2020-GROUP, 2019-GROUP, 2018-GROUP). We performed an intergroup comparison of cognitive decline over a one-year follow-up, and an intragroup comparison in the 2020-GROUP to analyze the five-year cognitive decline trajectory, as measured by the MMSE. (3) Results: The 2020-GROUP showed a significant loss of MMSE points per year in the considered follow-up period compared with the 2019-GROUP and 2018-GROUP (p = 0.021). Demographics, clinical features, and the other analyzed variables, including rate of diagnosis, therapy, and comorbidities, did not significantly differ between groups. The five-year cognitive decline trajectory confirmed a significant worsening of cognitive decline between 2019 and 2020 (p < 0.001), while the decrease in MMSE scores was not statistically significant between previous time points. (4) Conclusions: COVID-19 pandemic measures have induced a significant worsening of cognitive decline in people with dementia, needing more careful assistance to minimize the adverse effects of social isolation in case of future lockdowns. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus disease; cognitive decline; quarantine coronavirus disease; cognitive decline; quarantine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tondo, G.; Sarasso, B.; Serra, P.; Tesser, F.; Comi, C. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Cognition of People with Dementia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4285. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084285

AMA Style

Tondo G, Sarasso B, Serra P, Tesser F, Comi C. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Cognition of People with Dementia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4285. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084285

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tondo, Giacomo, Barbara Sarasso, Paola Serra, Fabiana Tesser, and Cristoforo Comi. 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Cognition of People with Dementia" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4285. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084285

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