Dementia is one of the most common underlying health conditions in people who have died from the novel coronavirus in England and Wales—now British researchers say they might know why. A study has found that people with a specific genetic mutation known to increase the risk of dementia also have a much greater chance of having severe COVID-19, according to The Guardian. It’s the latest study to suggest genetics may play a role in why some people are hit harder by the coronavirus than others, and could help explain why people with dementia appear to be particularly vulnerable. “It is not just age: This is an example of a specific gene variant causing vulnerability in some people,” said study co-author David Melzer, a professor of epidemiology and public health at Exeter University. The team found that having the gene that raises the risk of dementia could make people twice as likely to suffer badly from the virus.
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