Redox imbalance links COVID-19 and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

We summarize the evidence that people with acute COVID-19 and with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome have biological abnormalities including redox imbalance, systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation, an impaired ability to generate adenosine triphosphate, and a general hypometabolic state

Bindu D. Paul; Marian D. Lemle; Anthony L. Komaroff; Solomon H. Snyder

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • Acute COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, can be a severe and even fatal disease
  • We speculate that the symptoms of both long COVID-19 and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome may stem from redox imbalance—which in turn, is linked to inflammation and energy metabolic defects
  • The syndrome of long COVID-19 that can develop in some COVID-19 survivors is very similar to ME/CFS, so it may well be that the group of abnormalities seen in acute COVID-19 and in ME/CFS will be seen in long COVID-19
  • Redox abnormalities in COVID-19 are secondary to the infection with SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19–induced permanent damage to the lungs, heart, and kidneys could cause some of the persisting symptoms seen in long COVID-19. In both long COVID-19 and ME/CFS other symptoms may be generated by neuroinflammation, reduced cerebral perfusion due to autonomic dysfunction, and autoantibodies directed at neural targets, as summarized elsewhere
  • Two registries and associated biobanks of people with long COVID-19 and/or ME/CFS are available to aid research.* We suggest that the study of the connections between redox imbalance, inflammation, and energy metabolism in long COVID-19 and in ME/CFS may lead to improvements in both new diagnostics and therapies
  • In both long COVID-19 and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome other symptoms may be generated by neuroinflammation, reduced cerebral perfusion due to autonomic dysfunction, and autoantibodies directed at neural targets, as summarized elsewhere

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