Long-COVID post-viral chronic fatigue and affective symptoms are associated with oxidative damage, lowered antioxidant defen… (Al-Hakeim et al, 2022)

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Long-COVID post-viral chronic fatigue and affective symptoms are associated with oxidative damage, lowered antioxidant defenses and inflammation: a proof of concept and mechanism study

Abstract

The immune-inflammatory response during the acute phase of COVID-19, as assessed using peak body temperature (PBT) and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2), predicts the severity of chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety symptoms 3–4 months later. The present study was performed to examine the effects of SpO2 and PBT during acute infection on immune, oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways and neuropsychiatric symptoms of Long COVID. This study assayed SpO2 and PBT during acute COVID-19, and C-reactive protein (CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyls (PCs), myeloperoxidase (MPO), nitric oxide (NO), zinc, and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) in 120 Long COVID individuals and 36 controls. Cluster analysis showed that 31.7% of the Long COVID patients had severe abnormalities in SpO2, body temperature, increased oxidative toxicity (OSTOX) and lowered antioxidant defenses (ANTIOX), and increased total Hamilton Depression (HAMD) and Anxiety (HAMA) and Fibromylagia-Fatigue (FF) scores. Around 60% of the variance in the neuropsychiatric symptoms of Long COVID (a factor extracted from HAMD, HAMA and FF scores) was explained by OSTOX/ANTIOX ratio, PBT and SpO2. Increased PBT predicted increased CRP and lowered ANTIOX and zinc levels, while lowered SpO2 predicted lowered Gpx and increased NO production. Lowered SpO2 strongly predicts OSTOX/ANTIOX during Long COVID. In conclusion, the impact of acute COVID-19 on the symptoms of Long COVID is partly mediated by OSTOX/ANTIOX, especially lowered Gpx and zinc, increased MPO and NO production and lipid peroxidation-associated aldehyde formation. The results suggest that post-viral somatic and mental symptoms have a neuroimmune and neuro-oxidative origin.

The study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01836-9