Investigating Neurological Symptoms of Infectious Diseases Like COVID-19 Leads to a Deeper Understanding of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Patients with COVID-19 frequently experience neurological symptoms in addition to typical respiratory symptoms. According to studies, SARS-CoV-2 infection increased alpha-synuclein aggregation, created Lewy-body-like pathology, accelerated the senescence of dopaminergic neurons, and aggravated Parkinson’s disease symptoms in patients (PD). Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause neuroinflammation, accelerate neurodegeneration in protracted COVID, and increase a person’s susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease (PD) or parkinsonism. These results imply that the present COVID-19 pandemic may be followed by a post-COVID-19 parkinsonism. This paper reviewed the neurological symptoms and associated findings of COVID-19, related infectious diseases (influenza, AIDS, and prion disease), and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis), and discussed potential mechanisms underlying the neurological symptoms and the relationship between them. the neurodegenerative illnesses and infectious diseases, as well as the consequences for treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disorders. Over time, alpha-synuclein “prions” and infections with a variety of microorganisms (such as SARS-CoV-2, influenza A viruses, gut bacteria, etc.) may combine to cause Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thus, a methodical strategy that concentrates on these infections as well as the pathogen-caused neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration may offer treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. To treat, manage, or prevent these conditions, antiviral/antimicrobial medications, vaccines, immunotherapies, and novel treatments (such as stem cell therapy) must collaborate. Better SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, new antiviral/antimicrobial medications, efficient immunotherapies (alpha-synuclein antibodies, vaccinations for PD or parkinsonism, etc.), as well as novel therapeutics, are projected to be created and made accessible in the future as medical research and technology evolve.

Author(s) Details:

Jing Zhang,
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63110, US.

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Keywords: COVID-19, Parkinson’s disease, neurological symptoms, neurodegeneration, post-COVID-19, Parkinsonism prevention

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