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1.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 34(4): 351-356, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635161

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have uniquely and disproportionately affected vulnerable populations. This review summarizes recent evidence on the relationship between psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders and COVID-19, highlighting acute and long-term risks, pharmacotherapy interactions and implications regarding appropriate and timely evidence-based treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: Evidence points to a complex relationship between psychiatric and substance use disorders and COVID-19. A range of risk factors associated with psychiatric and substance use disorders increases the risk of exposure to, and complications arising from, the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 infection has been indicated as having acute and potential long-term impacts on both psychiatric and substance use disorders. Social disruption associated with restrictions imposed to curb transmission has also been identified as a risk factor for new onset of disorders and recurrence and exacerbation of existing conditions. SUMMARY: Early recognition and intervention are key to preventing chronic disability associated with psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and their co-occurrence. It is critical that those most in need of services do not fall through the cracks of our healthcare systems. The pandemic has fast tracked the opportunity for widespread implementation of digital health interventions but ensuring these are accessible and available to all, including our most vulnerable, will be a critical task for our future health and social ecosystems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/complications , Mental Disorders/psychology , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Drug Interactions , Humans , Mental Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Vulnerable Populations/psychology
2.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol ; 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632085

ABSTRACT

To this day, there are limited data about the effects and management of coronavirus disease infection in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease. We present the management and successful clinical course of an 8-year-old female with homozygous sickle cell disease (SS) and severe acute chest syndrome secondary to coronavirus disease 2019 infection, complicated by cortical vein thrombosis.

3.
J Pain Symptom Manage ; 60(4): e2-e13, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638060

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Preparation for an impending death through end-of-life (EOL) discussions and human presence when a person is dying is important for both patients and families. OBJECTIVES: The aim was to study whether EOL discussions were offered and to what degree patients were alone at time of death when dying from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), comparing deaths in nursing homes and hospitals. METHODS: The national Swedish Register of Palliative Care was used. All expected deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes and hospitals were compared with, and contrasted to, deaths in a reference population (deaths in 2019). RESULTS: A total of 1346 expected COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes (n = 908) and hospitals (n = 438) were analyzed. Those who died were of a more advanced age in nursing homes (mean 86.4 years) and of a lower age in hospitals (mean 80.7 years) (P < 0.0001). Fewer EOL discussions with patients were held compared with deaths in 2019 (74% vs. 79%, P < 0.001), and dying with someone present was much more uncommon (59% vs. 83%, P < 0.0001). In comparisons between nursing homes and hospital deaths, more patients dying in nursing homes were women (56% vs. 37%, P < 0.0001), and significantly fewer had a retained ability to express their will during the last week of life (54% vs. 89%, P < 0.0001). Relatives were present at time of death in only 13% and 24% of the cases in nursing homes and hospitals, respectively (P < 0.001). The corresponding figures for staff were 52% and 38% (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Dying from COVID-19 negatively affects the possibility of holding an EOL discussion and the chances of dying with someone present. This has considerable social and existential consequences for both patients and families.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Loneliness , Palliative Care , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Quality of Health Care , Terminal Care , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Sweden/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
Eur J Ophthalmol ; : 1120672120947591, 2020 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633471

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Papillophlebitis is a rare condition characterized by venous congestion and optic disc edema, which has been suggested to occur as a consequence of inflammation of the retinal veins or, possibly, the capillaries of the optic disc, leading to venous insufficiency and compression of the central retina vein. The disease affects healthy young adults and commonly has a benign course, however, if complications such as macular edema or ischemia appears, treatment should be instituted immediately to avoid poor prognosis. CASE REPORT: A 40-year old white male patient consulted for a slight decrease in the sensitivity of the visual field in his left eye (OS). Visual acuities (VA) were 20/20 in both eyes. OS fundus examination showed dilated and tortuous retinal vessels, disc edema, and retinal hemorrhages. The patient was diagnosed with papillophlebitis. OS VA decreased to 20/200 due to macular edema, and he was treated with a intravitreal dexamethasone implant. An exhaustive and interdisciplinary exploration process was performed, identifying a recent disease and recovery of Covid-19 as the only factor of inflammation and coagulation alteration. Other systemic diseases were excluded. We also describe a rapid decrease in disc and macular edema after intravitreal dexametasone injection, which could support the inflammatory hypothesis. CONCLUSION: The importance of this case lies in the possible association of papillophlebitis with the new Covid-19 disease. We believe that the inflammatory reaction and the coagulation alteration present in our patient due to Sars-Cov2 coronavirus may have acted as risk factors for the development of papillophlebitis.

5.
Trials ; 22(1): 172, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622253

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study is to test the hypothesis that administration of dexamethasone 20 mg is superior to a 6 mg dose in adult patients with moderate or severe ARDS due to confirmed COVID-19. The secondary objective is to investigate the efficacy and safety of dexamethasone 20 mg versus dexamethasone 6 mg. The exploratory objective of this study is to assess long-term consequences on mortality and quality of life at 180 and 360 days. TRIAL DESIGN: REMED is a prospective, phase II, open-label, randomised controlled trial testing superiority of dexamethasone 20 mg vs 6 mg. The trial aims to be pragmatic, i.e. designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in conditions that are close to real-life routine clinical practice. PARTICIPANTS: The study is multi-centre and will be conducted in the intensive care units (ICUs) of ten university hospitals in the Czech Republic. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Subjects will be eligible for the trial if they meet all of the following criteria: 1. Adult (≥18 years of age) at time of enrolment; 2. Present COVID-19 (infection confirmed by RT-PCR or antigen testing); 3. Intubation/mechanical ventilation or ongoing high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy; 4. Moderate or severe ARDS according to Berlin criteria: • Moderate - PaO2/FiO2 100-200 mmHg; • Severe - PaO2/FiO2 < 100 mmHg; 5. Admission to ICU in the last 24 hours. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Subjects will not be eligible for the trial if they meet any of the following criteria: 1. Known allergy/hypersensitivity to dexamethasone or excipients of the investigational medicinal product (e.g. parabens, benzyl alcohol); 2. Fulfilled criteria for ARDS for ≥14 days at enrolment; 3. Pregnancy or breastfeeding; 4. Unwillingness to comply with contraception measurements from enrolment until at least 1 week after the last dose of dexamethasone (sexual abstinence is considered an adequate contraception method); 5. End-of-life decision or patient is expected to die within next 24 hours; 6. Decision not to intubate or ceilings of care in place; 7. Immunosuppression and/or immunosuppressive drugs in medical history: a) Systemic immunosuppressive drugs or chemotherapy in the past 30 days; b) Systemic corticosteroid use before hospitalization; c) Any dose of dexamethasone during the present hospital stay for COVID-19 for ≥5 days before enrolment; d) Systemic corticosteroids during present hospital stay for conditions other than COVID-19 (e.g. septic shock); 8. Current haematological or generalized solid malignancy; 9. Any contraindication for corticosteroid administration, e.g. • intractable hyperglycaemia; • active gastrointestinal bleeding; • adrenal gland disorders; • presence of superinfection diagnosed with locally established clinical and laboratory criteria without adequate antimicrobial treatment; 10. Cardiac arrest before ICU admission; 11. Participation in another interventional trial in the last 30 days. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Dexamethasone solution for injection/infusion is the investigational medicinal product as well as the comparator. The trial will assess two doses, 20 mg (investigational) vs 6 mg (comparator). Patients in the intervention group will receive dexamethasone 20 mg intravenously once daily on day 1-5, followed by dexamethasone 10 mg intravenously once daily on day 6-10. Patients in the control group will receive dexamethasone 6 mg day 1-10. All authorized medicinal products containing dexamethasone in the form of solution for i.v. injection/infusion can be used. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary endpoint: Number of ventilator-free days (VFDs) at 28 days after randomisation, defined as being alive and free from mechanical ventilation. SECONDARY ENDPOINTS: a) Mortality from any cause at 60 days after randomisation; b) Dynamics of inflammatory marker (C-Reactive Protein, CRP) change from Day 1 to Day 14; c) WHO Clinical Progression Scale at Day 14; d) Adverse events related to corticosteroids (new infections, new thrombotic complications) until Day 28 or hospital discharge; e) Independence at 90 days after randomisation assessed by Barthel Index. The long-term outcomes of this study are to assess long-term consequences on mortality and quality of life at 180 and 360 days through telephone structured interviews using the Barthel Index. RANDOMISATION: Randomisation will be carried out within the electronic case report form (eCRF) by the stratified permuted block randomisation method. Allocation sequences will be prepared by a statistician independent of the study team. Allocation to the treatment arm of an individual patient will not be available to the investigators before completion of the whole randomisation process. The following stratification factors will be applied: • Age <65 and ≥ 65; • Charlson Comorbidity index (CCI) <3 and ≥3; • CRP <150 mg/L and ≥150 mg/L • Trial centre. Patients will be randomised in a 1 : 1 ratio into one of the two treatment arms. Randomisation through the eCRF will be available 24 hours every day. BLINDING (MASKING): This is an open-label trial in which the participants and the study staff will be aware of the allocated intervention. Blinded pre-planned statistical analysis will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size is calculated to detect the difference of 3 VFDs at 28 days (primary efficacy endpoint) between the two treatment arms with a two-sided type I error of 0.05 and power of 80%. Based on data from a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in COVID-19 ARDS patients in Brazil and a multi-centre observational study from French and Belgian ICUs regarding moderate to severe ARDS related to COVID-19, investigators assumed a standard deviation of VFD at 28 days as 9. Using these assumptions, a total of 142 patients per treatment arm would be needed. After adjustment for a drop-out rate, 150 per treatment arm (300 patients per study) will be enrolled. TRIAL STATUS: This is protocol version 1.1, 15.01.2021. The trial is due to start on 2 February 2021 and recruitment is expected to be completed by December 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study protocol was registered on EudraCT No.:2020-005887-70, and on December 11, 2020 on ClinicalTrials.gov (Title: Effect of Two Different Doses of Dexamethasone in Patients With ARDS and COVID-19 (REMED)) Identifier: NCT04663555 with a last update posted on February 1, 2021. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol (version 1.1) is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest of expediting dissemination of this material, the standard formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , COVID-19/complications , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Disease Progression , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Equivalence Trials as Topic , Humans , Length of Stay , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several vaccines are now clinically available under emergency use authorization in the United States and have demonstrated efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The impact of vaccines on asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection is largely unknown. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive, asymptomatic adult patients (n = 39,156) within a large United States healthcare system who underwent 48,333 pre-procedural SARS-CoV-2 molecular screening tests between December 17, 2020 and February 8, 2021. The primary exposure of interest was vaccination with at least one dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The primary outcome was relative risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 molecular test among those asymptomatic persons who had received at least one dose of vaccine, as compared to persons who had not received vaccine during the same time period. Relative risk was adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, patient residence relative to the hospital (local vs. non-local), healthcare system regions, and repeated screenings among patients using mixed effects log-binomial regression. RESULTS: Positive molecular tests in asymptomatic individuals were reported in 42 (1.4%) of 3,006 tests performed on vaccinated patients and 1,436 (3.2%) of 45,327 tests performed on unvaccinated patients (RR=0.44 95% CI: 0.33-0.60; p<.0001). Compared to unvaccinated patients, the risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was lower among those >10 days after 1 st dose (RR=0.21; 95% CI: 0.12-0.37; p<.0001) and >0 days after 2 nd dose (RR=0.20; 95% CI: 0.09-0.44; p<.0001) in the adjusted analysis. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine showed a significant association with a reduced risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection as measured during pre-procedural molecular screening. The results of this study demonstrate the impact of the vaccines on reduction in asymptomatic infections supplementing the randomized trial results on symptomatic patients.

7.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3375-3383, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604393

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In multiple sclerosis (MS), disease-related factors and dysfunctional coping might favor the development of mental distress induced by COVID-19 containment measures. Aim of this study was exploring the relationship between disability, coping strategies, daily life reorganization and neuropsychiatric symptoms in an Italian MS population during the COVID-19 lockdown, in order to identify potentially modifiable factors that could inform clinical management of mental distress in people with MS. METHODS: We explored the relationship between mental distress, disability and coping strategies in the Italian MS population under lockdown. Structural equation modeling was applied to information collected via web survey to identify modifiable factors that could account for mental distress. RESULTS: A total of 845 participants (497 with MS and 348 controls) were included in the study. The MS group had higher scores than the control group for depression (p = 0.005), but not for anxiety, emotional dyscontrol or sleep disturbances. The structural equation modeling explained 74% of the variance observed in depression score. Within the model, three latent factors were characterized from measured variables: motor disability and cognitive dysfunction contributed to disability (ß = 0.509 and ß = 0.836; p < 0.001); positive attitude and exercise contributed to active attitude (ß = 0.386 and ß = 0.297; p < 0.001); and avoidance, social support and watching television contributed to passive attitude (ß = 0.301, ß = 0.243 and ß = 0.212; p < 0.001). With regard to the relationship between latent factors and their influence on depression, disability contributed to passive attitude (ß = 0.855; p < 0.001), while both passive and active attitude significantly influenced depression (ß = 0.729 and ß = -0.456; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: As a practical implication of our model, favoring exercise would enhance active attitude and its positive impact on mental well-being while, at the same time, reducing the negative impact of disability on depression, representing a valuable tool in facing COVID-19-related mental distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Motor Disorders , Multiple Sclerosis , Anxiety , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3467-3477, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is debate as to whether there is an increased risk of COVID-19 infection in people with Parkinson's disease (PD), possibly due to associated factors. This study aimed to systematically review the factors associated with COVID-19 in people with PD. METHODS: A search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science up to November 2020 (updated until 1 April 2021). Observational studies that analyzed factors associated with COVID-19 in people with PD were selected and revised. RESULTS: The authors included six studies (four case-controlled studies and two cross-sectional studies) in the qualitative and quantitative syntheses. The authors found that the following factors were associated with COVID-19 in people with PD: obesity (OR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.07-2.99, I2 : 0%), any pulmonary disease (OR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.17-3.15, I2 : 0%), COVID-19 contact (OR: 41.77, 95% CI: 4.77 - 365.56, I2 : 0%), vitamin D supplementation (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.30-0.83, I2 : 0%), hospitalization (OR: 11.78, 95% CI: 6.27-22.12, I2 : 0%), and death (OR: 11.23, 95% CI: 3.92-32.18, I2 : 0%). The authors did not find any significant association between COVID-19 and hypertension, diabetes, cardiopathy, cancer, any cognitive problem, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal or hepatic disease, smoking, and tremor. CONCLUSIONS: Meta-analyses were limited by the number of events and some methodological limitations. Despite this, the authors assessed the available evidence, and the results may be useful for future health policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Parkinson Disease , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Parkinson Disease/complications , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3396-3402, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603954

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The COVID-19 emergency may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and with regard to people with MS (pwMS) chronic exposure to a wide range of challenging life events has been shown to be correlated with worsening of neurological symptoms, increased lesion burden on brain magnetic resonance imaging and relapses. The aim was to investigate perceived stress, depression, perceived social support, habits and behaviour changes in pwMS through COVID-19 in comparison to a control group. METHODS: A web-based survey was posted on SMsocialnetwork.com to investigate perceived stress (using the Perceived Stress Scale), depression (with Patient Health Questionnaire 2) and perceived social support (using Social Provision Scale 10 item) in pwMS and a control group through the COVID-19 pandemic. A secondary group of people with migraine was investigated. RESULTS: In all, 1286 answers from 612 pwMS and 674 control people were included in the final analysis. The answers from 318 people with migraine were included for a secondary analysis. A higher proportion of pwMS were depressed (43.1% vs. 23.1%; p < 0.001), had a high level of perceived stress (58% vs. 39.8%; p < 0.001) and felt significantly less social support (median 33 vs. 35; Q1-Q3 28-36 vs. 32-37; p < 0.001) compared to the control group. A higher percentage of people with migraine were depressed (50% vs. 43%, p = 0.04) compared to pwMS. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the negative impact that prolonged stress may have on clinical and radiological disease activity of pwMS, and bearing in mind that a beneficial effect has been demonstrated and achieved with stress management, it is suggested to promote stress control in these patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
10.
Mult Scler ; : 13524585211005339, 2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597064

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The spread of Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) poses unique challenges in the management of people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). OBJECTIVES: To collect data about the impact of COVID-19 emergency on access to care for PwMS and on MS treatment practices. METHODS: Between March and July 2020, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) promoted an online survey covering patient access to care, management of relapses and visits, disease-modifying therapy (DMT) and experience with COVID-19. RESULTS: Three-hundred and sixty neurologists from 52 countries (68% from Europe) completed the survey. 98% reported COVID-19-related restrictions. Telemedicine was adopted to overcome the limited access to care and was newly activated (73%) or widely implemented (17%). 70% reported changes in DMT management. Interferons and glatiramer were considered safe. Dimethyl fumarate, teriflunomide and fingolimod were considered safe except for patients developing lymphopenia. No modifications were considered for natalizumab in 64%, cladribine in 24%, anti-CD20 in 22% and alemtuzumab in 17%; 18% (for alemtuzumab and cladribine) and 43% (for anti-CD20) considered postponing treatment. CONCLUSION: The ECTRIMS survey highlighted the challenges in keeping standards of care in clinical practice. Telemedicine clearly needs to be implemented. Gathering data on DMT safety will remain crucial to inform treatment decisions.

11.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 33(12): 1578-1581, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595632

ABSTRACT

AIM: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recently encountered disease that was declared a pandemic by WHO in 2020. Obesity and other components of the metabolic syndrome may aggravate the severity of COVID-19. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association between MAFLD and COVID-19 severity. METHODS: We performed a retrospective, case-control study, enrolling 71 consecutive COVID-19 patients who were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of fatty liver by computed tomography scan. All medical records of eligible patients were reviewed including demographic, clinical, laboratory parameters and data regarding the presence of NAFLD and COVID-19 severity. RESULTS: NAFLD was identified in 22/71 (31%) of the study group. Out of 71, thirteen suffered from severe COVID-19. NAFLD patients had more severe COVID-19 compared with non-NAFLD subjects, 8/22 (36.3%) vs. 5/49(10.2%), (P < 0.005), respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that NAFLD subjects were more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease (odds ratio 3.57, 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 14.48, P = 0.0031). CONCLUSION: NAFLD represents a high risk for severe COVID-19 irrespective to gender, and independent of metabolic syndrome specifically in male gender. Moreover, obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome were also significantly associated with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metabolic Syndrome , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Male , Metabolic Syndrome/diagnosis , Metabolic Syndrome/epidemiology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/diagnostic imaging , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Immunotoxicol ; 18(1): 23-29, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593522

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 of 2019 (COVID-19) causes a pandemic that has been diagnosed in more than 70 million people worldwide. Mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms include coughing, fever, myalgia, shortness of breath, and acute inflammatory lung injury (ALI). In contrast, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and respiratory failure occur in patients diagnosed with severe COVID-19. ARDS is mediated, at least in part, by a dysregulated inflammatory response due to excessive levels of circulating cytokines, a condition known as the "cytokine-storm syndrome." Currently, there are FDA-approved therapies that attenuate the dysregulated inflammation that occurs in COVID-19 patients, such as dexamethasone or other corticosteroids and IL-6 inhibitors, including sarilumab, tocilizumab, and siltuximab. However, the efficacy of these treatments have been shown to be inconsistent. Compounds that activate the vagus nerve-mediated cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, such as the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, GTS-21, attenuate ARDS/inflammatory lung injury by decreasing the extracellular levels of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) in the airways and the circulation. It is possible that HMGB1 may be an important mediator of the "cytokine-storm syndrome." Notably, high plasma levels of HMGB1 have been reported in patients diagnosed with severe COVID-19, and there is a significant negative correlation between HMGB1 plasma levels and clinical outcomes. Nicotine can activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, which attenuates the up-regulation and the excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. Therefore, we hypothesize that low molecular weight compounds that activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, such as nicotine or GTS-21, may represent a potential therapeutic approach to attenuate the dysregulated inflammatory responses in patients with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Benzylidene Compounds/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cholinergic Agents/pharmacology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Nicotine/metabolism , Pyridines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tobacco Use Disorder/drug therapy , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , HMGB1 Protein/blood , Humans , Pandemics , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/agonists
13.
J Nippon Med Sch ; 2021 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The behavioral changes among Japanese, along with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, may affect the seasonal influenza epidemic in Japan and change the influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE). METHODS: Influenza VE in children was estimated in the first influenza season (2019/20) overlapping with the COVID-19 epidemic by conducting a single-center, test-negative case-control (TNCC) study. Effects of prior influenza infection and vaccination in children were assessed for the 2019-2020 season. RESULTS: Among 386 children, the adjusted VE was significant for influenza A/H1N1 (45.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0-69.7) and influenza B (66.7%; 95% CI: 35.9-82.7). Among patients aged 0-6 years, the adjusted VE was significant for influenza A (total: A/H1N1+A/H3N2) (65.0%; 95% CI: 22.2-84.3), influenza A/H1N1 (64.8%; 95% CI: 16.9-85.1), and influenza B (87.4%; 95% CI: 50.5-96.8). No VE was observed in patients aged 7-15 years. Two vaccine doses tended to decrease the incidences of influenza A (total) and influenza A/H1N1 in patients aged 0-6 years. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of influenza B infection in patients, who had influenza during the previous season, were significantly low among all participants (0.29; 95% CI: 0.11-0.78) and patients aged 7-15 years (0.34; 95% CI: 0.12-0.94). The adjusted ORs of influenza infections were not significant in patients vaccinated during the previous season. CONCLUSIONS: TNCC-based estimates of influenza VE were consistent despite the overlapping COVID-19 epidemic.

15.
Stem Cell Investig ; 7: 11, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579497

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented with debilitating respiratory consequences especially more pronounced in high risk individuals. Individuals with underlying systemic diseases are more prone and vulnerable to suffer severe consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. The pathophysiological changes identified cytokine storm mechanism for out setting the series of adverse clinical conditions. Thereby, associating it with high mortality rates. This warrants urgent consideration of divergent modalities such as the cellular therapy. Cellular therapy (CT) is a new medical paradigm wherein cellular material is administered to patients for therapeutic purposes. In this regard, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have yielded the most promising results among stromal vascular fraction (SVF); placental cells; natural killer (NK) cell and platelet lysate respectively. Following the administration of the CT as per preferred route, these play pivotal role in modifying the microenvironment of the lung tissue with their distinct sets of mechanism. Evidences have shown how their immunomodulatory action repairs and prevents lung injury which in turn improvise the compliance of lungs. In this review article we have discussed these emerging novel approaches and their target step serving as a ray of hope to combat severe form of COVID-19. Currently these aren't approved for preventing or treating COVID-19 cases, however clinical trials are afoot to dispense the utmost understanding in terms of efficacy and safety concerns.

16.
Int J Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575764

ABSTRACT

The WHO 2020 global TB Report estimates that in 2019 there were an estimated 500,000 cases of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) of which only 186,772 MDR-TB cases were diagnosed, and positive treatment outcomes were achieved in 57% of them. These data highlight the need for accelerating and improving MDR-TB screening, diagnostic, treatment and patient follow-up services. The last decade has seen three new TB drugs being licensed; bedaquiline, delamanid and pretomanid, and combinations these new, existing and repurposed drugs are leading to improved cure rates. The all oral six month WHO regimen for MDR-TB is more tolerable, has higher treatment success rates and lower mortality. However, the unprecedented ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having major direct and indirect negative impacts on health services overall, including national TB programs and TB services. This adds further to longstanding challenges for tackling MDR-TB such as cost, rollout of diagnostics and drugs, and implementation of latest WHO guidelines for MDR-TB. In light of COVID-19 disruption of TB services, it is anticipated the numbers of MDR-TB cases will rise in 2021 and 2022 and will affect treatment outcomes further. Investing more in development of new TB drugs and shorter MDR-TB treatment regimens is required in anticipation of emerging drug resistance to new TB drug regimens. There is an urgent need for protecting current investments in TB services, sustaining gains being made in TB control and accelerating roll out of TB diagnostic and treatment services.

17.
Anaesthesist ; 70(8): 662-670, 2021 Aug.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575534

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of sepsis and septic shock, coagulopathy often occurs due to the close relationship between coagulation and inflammation. Sepsis-induced coagulopathy (SIC) is the most severe and potentially fatal form. Anticoagulants used in prophylactic or therapeutic doses are discussed to potentially exert beneficial effects in patients with sepsis and/or SIC; however, due to the lack of evidence recent guidelines are limited to recommendations for drug prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE), while treatment of SIC has not been addressed. METHODS: In order to determine the status quo of VTE prophylaxis as well as treatment of SIC in German intensive care units (ICU), we conducted a Germany-wide online survey among heads of ICUs from October 2019 to May 2020. In April 2020, the survey was supplemented by an additional block of questions on VTE prophylaxis and SIC treatment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. RESULTS: A total of 67 senior doctors took part in the survey. The majority (n = 50; 74.6%) of the responses were from ICU under the direction of an anesthesiologist and/or a department of anesthesiology. Most of the participants worked either at a university hospital (n = 31; 47.8%) or an academic teaching hospital (n = 27; 40.3%). The survey results show a pronounced heterogeneity in clinical practice with respect to the prophylaxis of VTE as well as SIC treatment. In an exemplary case of pneumogenic sepsis, low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) were by far the most frequently mentioned group of medications (n = 51; 76.1% of the responding ITS). In the majority of cases (n = 43; 64.2%), anti-FXa activity is not monitored with the use of LMWH in prophylaxis doses. Unfractionated heparin (UFH) was listed as a strategy for VTE prophylaxis in 37.3% of the responses (n = 25). In an exemplary case of abdominal sepsis 54.5% of the participants (n = 36; multiple answers possible) stated the use of UFH or LMWH and UFH with dosage controlled by PTT is used on two participating ICUs. The anti-FXa activity under prophylactic anticoagulation with LMWH is monitored in 7 participating clinics (10.6%) in abdominal sepsis. Systematic screening for sepsis-associated coagulation disorders does not take place in most hospitals and patterns in the use of anticoagulants show significant variability between ICUs. In the case of COVID-19 patients, it is particularly noticeable that in three quarters of the participating ICUs the practice of drug-based VTE prophylaxis and SIC treatment does not differ from that of non-COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSION: The heterogeneity of answers collected in the survey suggests that a systematic approach to this topic via clinical trials is urgently needed to underline individualized patient care with the necessary evidence.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants , Blood Coagulation Disorders , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Sepsis , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Blood Coagulation Disorders/drug therapy , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , COVID-19 , Germany , Heparin/therapeutic use , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Sepsis/complications
18.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25232, 2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575169

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected medical education. However, little data are available about medical students' distress during the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to provide details on how medical students have been affected by the pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 717 medical students participated in the web-based survey. The survey included questions about how the participants' mental status had changed from before to after the Japanese nationwide state of emergency (SOE). RESULTS: Out of 717 medical students, 473 (66.0%) participated in the study. In total, 29.8% (141/473) of the students reported concerns about the shift toward online education, mostly because they thought online education would be ineffective compared with in-person learning. The participants' subjective mental health status significantly worsened after the SOE was lifted (P<.001). Those who had concerns about a shift toward online education had higher odds of having generalized anxiety and being depressed (odds ratio [OR] 1.97, 95% CI 1.19-3.28) as did those who said they would request food aid (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.16-3.44) and mental health care resources (OR 3.56, 95% CI 2.07-6.15). CONCLUSIONS: Given our findings, the sudden shift to online education might have overwhelmed medical students. Thus, we recommend that educators inform learners that online learning is not inferior to in-person learning, which could attenuate potential depression and anxiety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Education, Distance/methods , Psychological Distress , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Japan , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575135

ABSTRACT

In this perspective, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis (TB)/HIV health services and approaches to mitigating the growing burden of these three colliding epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). SSA countries bear significantly high proportions of TB and HIV cases reported worldwide, compared to countries in the West. Whilst COVID-19 epidemiology appears to vary across Africa, most countries in this region have reported relatively lower-case counts compared to the West. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has added an additional burden to already overstretched health systems in SSA, which, among other things, have been focused on the longstanding dual epidemics of TB and HIV. As with these dual epidemics, inadequate resources and poor case identification and reporting may be contributing to underestimations of the COVID-19 case burden in SSA. Modelling studies predict that the pandemic-related disruptions in TB and HIV services will result in significant increases in associated morbidity and mortality over the next five years. Furthermore, limited empirical evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 coinfections with TB and HIV are associated with increased mortality risk in SSA. However, predictive models require a better evidence-base to accurately define the impact of COVID-19, not only on communicable diseases such as TB and HIV, but on non-communicable disease comorbidities. Further research is needed to assess morbidity and mortality data among both adults and children across the African continent, paying attention to geographic disparities, as well as the clinical and socio-economic determinants of COVID-19 in the setting of TB and/or HIV.

20.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-14, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575050

ABSTRACT

Of all the nutrients, vitamin A has been the most extensively evaluated for its impact on immunity. There are three main forms of vitamin A, retinol, retinal and retinoic acid (RA) with the latter being most biologically active and all-trans-RA (ATRA) its main derivative. Vitamin A is a key regulator of the functions of various innate and adaptive immune cells and promotes immune-homeostasis. Importantly, it augments the interferon-based innate immune response to RNA viruses decreasing RNA virus replication. Several clinical trials report decreased mortality in measles and Ebola with vitamin A supplementation.During the Covid-19 pandemic interventions such as convalescent plasma, antivirals, monoclonal antibodies and immunomodulator drugs have been tried but most of them are difficult to implement in resource-limited settings. The current review explores the possibility of mega dose vitamin A as an affordable adjunct therapy for Covid-19 illness with minimal reversible side effects. Insight is provided into the effect of vitamin A on ACE-2 expression in the respiratory tract and its association with the prognosis of Covid-19 patients. Vitamin A supplementation may aid the generation of protective immune response to Covid-19 vaccines. An overview of the dosage and safety profile of vitamin A is presented along with recommended doses for prophylactic/therapeutic use in randomised controlled trials in Covid-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vitamin A/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunity/drug effects , Immunomodulation/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vitamin A/analysis
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