Four Recent Studies from Frontiers in Medicine on COVID-19

The following is a collection of recent research from the Frontiers in Medicine on COVID-19. Studies include medical plants and plant metabolites against the virus, famitodine for post COVID-19 neuropsychiatric symptoms and the latest research on long haulers and encephalomyelitis/shronic fatigue syndrome.

Plants Metabolites: Possibility of Natural Therapeutics Against the COVID-19 Pandemic

ABSTRACT/ In the present study, plant-synthesized secondary metabolites (PSMs) have been prioritized to make a review focusing on the efficacy of plant-originated therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19. Plant metabolites are a source of countless medicinal compounds, while the diversity of multidimensional chemical structures has made them superior to treat serious diseases. Some have already been reported as promising alternative medicines and lead compounds for drug repurposing and discovery. The versatility of secondary metabolites may provide novel antibiotics to tackle MDR (Multi-Drug Resistant) microbes too. This review attempted to find out plant metabolites that have the therapeutic potential to treat a wide range of viral pathogens. The study includes the search of remedies belonging to plant families, susceptible viral candidates, antiviral assays, and the mode of therapeutic action; this attempt resulted in the collection of an enormous number of natural therapeutics that might be suggested for the treatment of COVID-19. About 219 plants from 83 families were found to have antiviral activity. Among them, 149 plants from 71 families were screened for the identification of the major plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) that might be effective for this pandemic. Our investigation revealed that the proposed plant metabolites can serve as potential anti- SARS-CoV-2 lead molecules for further optimization and drug development processes to combat COVID-19 and future pandemics caused by viruses. This review will stimulate further analysis by the scientific community and boost antiviral plant-based research followed by novel drug designing. Click here for more.

Medicinal Plants as Sources of Active Molecules Against COVID-19

ABSTRACT/ Since the COVID-19 outbreak, different traditional herbal medicines with promising results have been used alone or in combination with conventional drugs to treat infected patients. Here, we review the recent findings regarding the use of natural products to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, the mechanisms responsible for this preventive or therapeutic effect are discussed. We conducted literature research using PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and WHO website. Dissertations and theses were not considered. Only the situation reports edited by the WHO were included. The different herbal products (extracts) and purified molecules may exert their anti-SARS-CoV-2 actions by direct inhibition of the virus replication or entry. Interestingly, some products may block the ACE-2 receptor or the serine protease TMPRRS2 required by SARS-CoV-2 to infect human cells. In addition, natural products were shown to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 life-cycle related proteins such as papain-like or chymotrypsin-like proteases. In conclusion, we suggest that natural products could be used alone or in combination as alternative medicines to treat/prevent COVID-19 infection. Moreover, their structures may offer clues for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Click here for more.

Case Report: Famotidine for Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in COVID-19

ABSTRACT/ Famotidine is of interest as a possible treatment for COVID-19, with effects on disease-related symptoms and survival reported in observational and retrospective studies, as well as in silico predictions of binding to potential SARS-CoV-2 drug targets. Published studies of famotidine for COVID-19 have focused on acute illness, and none have reported on neuropsychiatric symptoms. This case study reports on an 18-year-old man who sought psychiatric treatment for depression and anxiety, disruptive interpersonal conflicts, and impairments in attention and motivation following mildly symptomatic illness with COVID-19. The neuropsychiatric symptoms, which had been present for 16 weeks at the time of the initial evaluation represented a significant departure from the patient’s previous behavioral baseline. The patient had no prior psychiatric history preceding his illness with COVID-19, and no history of any prior treatment with psychopharmacological medications. Famotidine 20 mg twice daily administered orally was begun without any additional medications. At 1-week follow-up the patient was much improved. Improvement was sustained through 12 weeks of follow-up during which the patient continued to take famotidine without apparent side effects. With progression of the COVID-19 pandemic it has become evident that persistent disease-related symptoms may follow acute COVID-19 and may include neuropsychiatric symptoms. Controlled clinical research on famotidine for COVID-19 should follow, as well as the development of valid and reliable research diagnostic criteria to define and operationalize the features of a putative COVID-19 neuropsychiatric residual. Click here for more.

Will COVID-19 Lead to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

CASE STUDY INTRO/ “Recovering” from COVID-19 does not guarantee a return to a person’s usual state of health. For one thing, some people with multi-system injury—particularly to the brain, heart and kidneys—may develop permanent dysfunction of those organs. In addition, a more subtle form of chronic illness may develop. For some people with COVID-19, even those who are only mildly affected at first, the ensuing weeks and months of “recovery” bring a surprise and a betrayal: they do not return to full health. Although nucleic acid tests no longer detect the virus, people still suffer from ongoing symptoms. They call themselves “long haulers,” and the condition is being called “long COVID.” Click here for more.