Echoes of neurodegenerative disease in fatal Covid-19; poor sleep habits may add risk: Latest Covid studies

The following is a roundup of some of the most recent scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to seek out therapies and vaccines for Covid-19, the sickness brought on by the virus.

COVID-19 BRAINS SHOW INFLAMMATION

The mind irritation and impaired “brain circuitry” seen in individuals who die of Covid-19 look so much like what medical doctors see in the brains of individuals who die of neurodegenerative circumstances resembling Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, researchers reported on Monday in the journal Nature.

Analyses of mind tissue from eight individuals who died from Covid-19 and 14 others who died from different causes confirmed “striking changes” in the Covid-19 sufferers’ brains, Stanford University researcher Tony Wyss-Coray instructed Reuters.

His workforce at Stanford, with colleagues on the University of Saarbruecken in Germany, analyzed 1000’s of genes in every of 65,309 particular person cells taken from the brain-tissue samples. Genes concerned with cognition, schizophrenia and melancholy had been extra typically “turned on” in the Covid-19 sufferers’ brains, they discovered.

“There also were signs of distress in neurons in the cerebral cortex, the brain region that plays a key role in decision-making, memory and mathematical reasoning,” the researchers mentioned in a press release.

“These neurons … form complex logic circuits that perform those higher brain functions.” Wyss-Coray mentioned his workforce couldn’t discover the virus itself in the mind, which means that “virus infection in the rest of the body could be enough to cause neurological symptoms, even in people who do not die from the disease.”

The findings, Wyss-Coray famous in a press release, “may help explain the brain fog, fatigue and other neurological and psychiatric symptoms of long Covid.”

POOR SLEEP HISTORY LINKED WITH SEVERE COVID

Poor sleep habits may be linked with greater danger for extreme sickness in sufferers with Covid-19, based on Harvard University researchers.

They analyzed survey responses from greater than 46,000 individuals in the long-term UK Biobank examine, together with 8,422 who examined constructive for Covid-19. Participants had answered questions from 2006 to 2010 about sleep length, daytime sleepiness, insomnia and physique clocks. For the brand new examine, primarily based on their responses, the researchers assigned scores starting from 0 to six, with greater scores indicating a number of poor sleep “traits.”

In individuals with Covid-19, poor scores had been related to greater odds of dying. This was true even after researchers accounted for points recognized to be danger components for poor Covid-19 outcomes resembling sleep apnea, weight problems and smoking, they reported on Friday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Even folks with two occasional or one frequent poor sleep trait appeared to expertise greater dangers for hospitalization and dying, though the distinction was not statistically important and extra examine is required to substantiate the discovering, the researchers mentioned.

Poor sleep impacts the immune system and blood clotting, each of that are key to the physique’s combat in opposition to Covid-19, and “tracking sleep behavior may have importance in identifying those at increased risk for Covid-19 mortality and hospitalization,” the authors mentioned.

COVID ANTIBODY DRUGS LIKELY WORK AGAINST VARIANTS

Most Covid-19 antibody medication which can be permitted for emergency use in the United States – and a few which can be nonetheless in growth – are prone to shield in opposition to variants of the novel coronavirus, new information suggests.

In check tube experiments, and in mice and hamsters, researchers uncovered the antibodies, alone and in combos, to “engineered” variations of mutated virus and to precise virus obtained from sufferers contaminated with Alpha, Beta, or Gamma variants – first recognized in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, respectively – or variants first seen in New York, California or India.

Some particular person medication appeared to lose effectiveness in opposition to the variants in check tubes – however in the animals, low doses of most of the medication, given in combos, had been protecting, the researchers reported on Monday in the journal Nature.

Another benefit of the combos is that they “seemed to prevent the emergence of resistant viruses,” examine co-author Jacco Boon of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis mentioned in the assertion. “Resistance arose with some of the monotherapies, but never with combination therapy.”

ALSO READ: What is the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus and should we be worried?

ALSO READ: UK study indicates Covid resulting in long-term loss of grey matter in recovered patients

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