What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Brain Fog and Alzheimer Disease; Smoke-Free UK Goal; Vaccine Adverse Effects More Likely After Infection

Links between COVID-19 brain fog and risk of Alzheimer disease; cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International discusses plans to stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdom; COVID-19 vaccine adverse effects are more likely in people previously infected with the virus.

Exploring COVID-19 Brain Fog and Alzheimer Disease Risk

As reported by NPR, researchers from University of Texas Health San Antonio and other scientists worldwide are planning to present findings on the association between brain fog, a long-term cognitive symptom of COVID-19, and potentially elevated risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference that begins today. Notably, findings of PET scans taken before and after a person develops the virus have suggested that infection can cause changes that overlap with those seen in AD, with genetic studies also showing that some of the same genes that would increase the likelihood of developing severe COVID-19 would also increase the risk of developing AD.

UK Potentially Cigarette-Free Within 10 Years

In an interview yesterday with the Daily Mail, Jacek Olczak, the CEO of Philip Morris International, said the company plans to stop selling cigarettes from its flagship brand Marlboro in the United Kingdom within the next 10 years. According to CNBC, Olczak’s comments were similar to those made by previous senior executives within Philip Morris International on ceasing production of cigarettes, which have resulted in minimal change. The UK government has previously announced plans with a goal of ending smoking in England by 2030.

Adverse Effects of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine More Likely After Infection

According to study findings reported by CIDRAP, patients previously infected with COVID-19 were shown to be more likely than those who were not infected to have adverse effects after their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. In the study, published in Vaccine, about 74% of participants had at least 1 adverse effect, including 95% of patients with prior COVID-19 and 70% of those who had not been infected. Symptom intensity was not shown to be different between the 2 groups, with most common vaccine-related symptoms including fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.