About this Research Topic
The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 , which is caused by a new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2), emerged at the end of 2019 and achieved the pandemic status after a few months. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can cause severe multi-organ failure, threatening the health and lives of millions of people around the globe. Thus, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) a few weeks after the outbreak. The limited understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis represents a critical challenge to effectively treat COVID-19 patients and to manage this pandemic from the public health point of view.
The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the subfamily of β−coronaviruses and shares 79.5% of the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV. Although COVID-19 mainly affects the lung, SARS-CoV-2 can also affect multiple organs including the nervous system. The SARS-CoV 2 has been reported in brains from both human patients and experimental animals, in which the brainstem was heavily infected. It has been shown that coronaviruses can travel retrogradely from mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors located at the lungs and lower respiratory tract to the autonomic center in the brainstem via synaptic connections, potentially contributing to respiratory failure. However, the effect of COVID-19 on the autonomic nervous system is not well known yet.
Given the need to develop additional therapies to treat the autonomic dysfunctions in COVID-19 patients and to better understand the complications of the infection after recovery, this Research Topic aims to stimulate novel basic and clinical investigations and perspectives on the effect of COVID-19 on the autonomic nervous system.
Important subject areas of this Research Topic include but are not limited to:
• Autonomic dysfunction in COVID-19 patients;
• The role of SARS-CoV-2 binding proteins such as ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system;
• Inflammation, cytokines, and immune system responses to SARS-CoV-2 affecting the autonomic nervous system;
• Potential autonomic dysregulation caused by therapeutic agents (such as Hydroxychloroquine) for COVID-19 treatment;
• The long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on autonomic function in patients recovered from COVID-19.
Keywords: Autonomic nervous system, Inflammation, Cytokines, Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Coronavirus protein, COVID-19, Coronavirus disease
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