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Echo of neurodegenerative disease in deadly COVID-19; sleep disorders may increase risk

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Nancy Rapid

(Reuters) – Below is a summary of some of the latest scientific research on the new coronavirus and efforts to find cures and vaccines for the virus-induced disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 Brain Shows Inflammation, “Circuit” Problems

Brain inflammation and “brain circuit” disorders seen in people who died of COVID-19 are very similar to those seen in the brains of people who died of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The nature they reported in the journal on Monday. Stanford University researcher Tony Wiskorey told Reuters that an analysis of the brain tissue of eight people who died of COVID-19 and 14 people who died of other causes was “significant” in the brains of COVID-19 patients. He said he showed “change.” His team at Stanford University, along with colleagues at Saarbrücken University in Germany, analyzed thousands of genes in each of 65,309 individual cells taken from brain tissue samples. Genes involved in cognition, schizophrenia, and depression were found to be “on” more frequently in the brains of COVID-19 patients. “There were also signs of distress in neurons in the cerebral cortex, a brain region that plays an important role in decision-making, memory, and mathematical reasoning,” the researchers said in a statement. “These neurons … form complex logic circuits that perform these higher brain functions,” Wyss-Coray said his team was unable to find the virus itself in the brain. .. This suggests that “a viral infection in the rest of the body may be sufficient to cause neurological symptoms, even if not dying from the disease.” “It may help explain long COVID brain fog, malaise, and other neurological and psychiatric symptoms,” Wyss-Coray said in a statement. (Https://go.nature.com/3gP88AL)

More severe COVID-19-related loss of sleep history

Poor sleep habits may be associated with an increased risk of serious illness in COVID-19 patients, according to researchers at Harvard University. They analyzed survey responses from more than 46,000 participants in a long-term UK Biobank survey, including 8,422 who tested positive for COVID-19. Participants answered questions about sleep time, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, and body clock from 2006 to 2010. In a new study, based on their answers, researchers assigned scores in the range 0-6, with higher scores indicating multiple “characteristics” of sleep deprivation. For COVID-19 participants, lower scores increased the probability of death. This was true even after researchers explained issues such as sleep apnea, obesity, and smoking that are known to be risk factors for poor COVID-19 results, they said on Friday. Reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Even those with occasional or frequent sleep characteristics appeared to be at increased risk of hospitalization and death, but the difference was not statistically significant and further studies were needed to confirm the findings. Researchers said there was. Sleep deprivation affects the immune system and blood clotting. Both of these are key to the fight against COVID-19, “tracking sleep behavior may be important in identifying people at high risk of death and hospitalization from COVID-19,” the authors said. Stated. .. (Https://bit.ly/2Ut2MUB)

Most COVID-19 antibody drugs may act on mutants

New data suggest that most COVID-19 antibody drugs (and some still under development) approved for emergency use in the United States are likely to protect against new coronavirus variants. .. In in vitro experiments, researchers used antibodies alone or in combination from patients infected with “manipulated” versions of the mutant virus and alpha, beta, or gamma variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. Exposed to the actual virus obtained. Each – or the first variant found in New York, California, or India. Next, mice and hamsters were tested for antibodies to the beta mutant. Beta mutants “are most likely to escape neutralization and are most resistant to the COVID-19 vaccine,” the research team said in a statement. Some individual drugs appeared to lose efficacy against in vitro variants-but in animals, low doses of most drugs given in combination were protective, researchers said Monday. Reported in the journal Nature. Another advantage of this combination is that it “looked to prevent the emergence of resistant viruses.” The study’s co-author, Jacco Boon of Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Resistance occurred with some monotherapy but not with combination therapy.” (Https://go.nature.com/3xJuOJL)

For Reuters graphics on vaccines under development, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl in an external browser.

(Report by Nancy Rapid, edited by Will Dunham)

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