Scientists discover two mysteries linked to the Coronavirus … a study identifies 6 particles in the body that predicts the worst cases of COVID-19 … and another reveals a new mechanism that causes blood clots and sets up potential methods for treatment


A team from the Lawson Institute of Health Research and the University of Western Ontario have taken important steps in understanding the COVID-19 virus, with two consecutive studies published in the journal Critical Care Explorations.

In one of the two studies, the team identified 6 molecules that could be used as biomarkers to predict the severity of a patient’s disease, and in the other study they were the first to uncover a new mechanism that causes blood clots in COVID-19 patients and possible ways to treat them.

The two studies were conducted by analyzing blood samples from critically ill patients at the London Health Sciences Center (LHSC), and 6 separate molecules were detected that could serve as potential targets for treating hyperinflammation in critically ill patients.

“We are starting to answer some of the biggest COVID-19 questions asked by doctors and health researchers … while the results need to be validated with larger groups of patients,” said Dr. Douglas Fraser, principal investigator at Lawson and Schulich College of Medicine and Dentistry, and a critical care physician. It may have important effects in treating and studying this disease. ”

Expect which of the COVID-19 patients will get worse

With no proven treatments, many COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) may not survive.

According to doctors, when a patient is admitted to the intensive care unit, we usually wait to see if their condition worsens before considering any risky interventions, and to improve outcomes we not only need new treatments but also a way to predict the disease or which patients will respond.

The researchers identified 6 molecules of interest, and found that these particles were elevated in COVID-19 patients who would become more dangerous, and they found that when measured on the first day of a COVID-19 patient entering the ICU, the particles could be used to predict which patients would survive after standard unit treatment. Intensive care.

The medical team said: “While more research is needed, we are confident of these biomarkers and believe that these patterns may be present even before entering an ICU, such as when a patient first advances to the emergency department, and these results can be very important.” In determining the severity of the disease that the patient can be infected with. ”

The team measured 1,161 plasma proteins from the blood of 30 participants: 10 patients with COVID-19 and 10 patients with other infections were admitted to the intensive care unit, in addition to 10 healthy participants.

The team noted that predicting disease severity can help in a number of ways. It can allow medical teams to have important conversations with family members, and set care goals based on the patient’s health and personal desires. Medical teams can also use knowledge to mobilize resources more quickly.

Lagger II: Understanding the cause of blood clots and how to treat them

One of the main complications that occurs in most patients with COVID-19 with serious diseases is blood clotting in the small blood vessels in the lung, which leads to low levels of oxygen in the body.

The study researcher says: “The cause of this clotting is not clear, and most doctors suspect that the mechanisms of clotting in our blood have been set in excess, and many doctors are treated with anti-clotting treatments such as heparin, but we discovered a completely different mechanism.”

The team also analyzed blood samples from 30 participants and found evidence indicating that the inner linings of small blood vessels have become damaged and inflamed, making them a welcoming environment for platelets (small blood cells) to stick.

And they discovered that COVID-19 patients had elevated levels of three molecules (hyaluronic acid, Syndican-1 and P-selectin). The first two molecules were a disintegrating product of tiny hair-like structures that line the inner part of blood vessels.

The team suggests that 2 treatments may hold promise for treating blood clots in COVID-19 patients, platelet inhibitors to prevent platelets from sticking together and particles to protect and restore the inner lining of blood vessels.

The team added, “By exploring these therapies as potential alternatives to anticoagulant therapies, we may be able to improve patient outcomes … Through our combined findings, we hope to provide the tools necessary to predict which patients will become the most dangerous, and treatments for both excessive inflammation and blood clots.” .


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