Is the world prepared for a series of neurological consequences that may be happening due to the following reasons? Coronavirus disease? This question is at the forefront of ongoing research at the Flory Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. A team of neuroscientists and clinicians are studying the potential link between COVID-19 and the increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and taking steps to keep it ahead.
“Although scientists are still learning how to SARS-CoV-2 The fact that viruses can invade the brain and central nervous system is obvious. Our best understanding is that this virus can cause insults to brain cells and may be secondary to the brain. “Professor Kevin Barnum of the Flory Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health said.
In a review article published on September 22, 2020, researchers referred to the potential long-term neurological consequences of COVID-19 as the “wave of silence” and focused on it. They called for urgent measures to provide more accurate diagnostic tools, detect neurodegeneration as soon as possible, and provide long-term monitoring methods for people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Researchers report that people infected with the virus have a wide range of neurological symptoms, from hypoxia (hypoxia) in the brain to more common symptoms (such as loss of smell).
“We found that on average three-quarters of SARS-CoV-2 infected people smell reduced or reduced odor. Although on the surface, this symptom seems to cause little concern, but in fact it tells us a lot about What happens internally is that acute inflammation in the olfactory system is responsible for the production of odors,” explains Florey researcher Leah Beauchamp.
Inflammation is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of neurogenic diseases and has been particularly intensively studied in Parkinson’s disease. Further research on these diseases may prove vital to the future impact of SARS-CoV-2.
“We believe that the loss of smell provides a new way to detect someone’s risk of Parkinson’s disease early. By virtue of being in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and about ten years before the onset of motor symptoms, approximately 90% of people will Smelling the knowledge that the smell disappears, we feel that we are on the right path,” Ms. Beauchamp added.
The clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease currently relies on the performance of motor dysfunction, but studies have shown that by this time, 50-70% of dopamine cell loss has occurred in the brain.
“By the time Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed and treated at this stage, you have missed the window where neuroprotective therapy can work as expected. We are talking about an insidious disease affecting 80,000 people in Australia, without considering the potential consequences of COVID Under the circumstances, the disease will double by 2040, and we currently have no cures that can improve the disease,” Professor Barnham said.
Researchers hope to establish a simple, cost-effective screening program to identify people in the community who are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or those in the early stages of the disease, and this therapy has the greatest potential to prevent motor onset dysfunction . They plan to put the proposal from the Australian government’s medical research future funding program.
In addition, the research team has also developed two neuroprotective therapies currently under study and identified a group of subjects who are very suitable for research on this therapy. Through their research, they obtained new evidence that people with REM sleep behavior disorder are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a huge economic burden, causing more than 10 billion Australian dollars in losses to the Australian economy every year.
“We must change the community’s view that Parkinson’s is not a disease of old age. As we have heard time and time again, there is no difference between Coronavirus and Parkinson’s.” Professor Barnham said.
“We can gain insights from the neurological consequences of the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, when the risk of Parkinson’s disease increased by two to three times. Given that the world’s population is hit by the virus pandemic again, considering that The potential growth of neuropathy spreading across the globe is indeed very worrying.”
He added: “The world was caught off guard for the first time, but it doesn’t need to be again. We now know what needs to be done. In addition to developing strategic public health methods, early diagnosis and better treatment tools will also be key.”
Reference: “Parkinson’s disease is the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic?” Lea C. Finkelstein, David I. Bush, Ashley I; Evans (Evans), Andrew H (Andrew H) and Barnham (Barnham), Kevin J (Kevin J), September 22, 2020, Parkinson’s Disease Journal.
DOI: 10.3333 / JPD-202211