About this Research Topic
*Important note: If you wish to contribute a paper to this Research Topic, please submit an abstract for evaluation.
The central nervous system (CNS) is vulnerable to many viruses that can enter it, including the herpes viruses, arboviruses, measles, influenza, or HIV. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that can also act on the CNS and PNS, and CoVs have been detected in the brains of patients with various neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or neurodegenerative diseases. Some CoVs, like the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), have been used as models for identifying CNS injury. MHV specifically causes white matter demyelination, and in vitro studies with the human coronavirus OC43 have shown that it is able to cause neuronal degeneration and death. Furthermore, anoxic and hypoxic environments in the CNS and PNS frequently accompany CoV infections, which may ultimately result in long term sequelae. Post-influenza Parkinsonism, post-infectious chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and Guillain-Barre syndromes are examples of latent neurologic disorders that may ensue viral infections, due to either structural injury or immunological alterations.
The two previous epidemics caused by SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, have shown that patients can present with neurological symptoms. Consequently, a pandemic, as we are currently experiencing with the SARS2-CoV, with such a high infection rate around the world could lead to an increase in the neurological conditions observed in patients infected with CoVs. Additionally, the high expression of the ACE2 receptor in the human brain suggests that SARS2-CoV access may be high. There is also the possibility that the CNS may serve as a reservoir for the virus, and this should be considered in research in order to predict the potential clinical consequences.
This Research Topic aims to promote studies and papers on the role of CoVs in the CNS and PNS, their mechanisms and consequences, and aims to generate debate among researchers about what acute and chronic effect CoVs may have on the CNS and PNS. This comes at a time in the central moment of a CoV pandemic, where better knowledge of the consequences of the virus can contribute to how infected patients are treated.
We welcome submissions of Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Systematic Reviews, Research Protocols, Opinions and Hypotheses, and particularly those including, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Prevalence of neurological symptoms in patients affected by Covid;
- Genetic and clinical profile of patients with an increased risk of neurological consequences;
- Basic mechanisms of SARS2-CoV infection of the CNS and PNS, ACE2 receptor expression and consequence, and new therapeutic targets;
- Penetration mechanisms of the virus in the CNS. Are neurological symptoms a clinical manifestation of CNS penetration of the virus? Can there be penetration via the PNS?
- Neuroimmunological consequences of virus CNS and PNS infection and the effects of available therapeutics.
- Experimental models or clinic-imaging studies in patients identifying whether the CNS is a reservoir for the virus, with a special on aging and patients with multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases.
- Effect of the CoV pandemic on patients with other neurological diseases, which increase the risk of infection and mortality?
Keywords: Coronavirus, CNS, PNS, neurology, neurological diseases, immunology, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, ACE2 receptor, Brain
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.