Scientists assess the link between COVID-19 and Alzheimer's disease

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A common gene for various infections, including Alzheimer's and COVID-19, is common. It is found in neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, etc. This was reported to RBC by the head of the brain research department Sergei Illarioshkin, commenting on the corresponding conclusions of American scientists.

“We have in our body only about 20 thousand genes and a huge number of biological processes, which are in the tens and hundreds of thousands and which need to somehow regulate this small number of genes. Therefore, it is obvious that one gene can often perform a variety of functions and mutation of one gene very often leads to very different outwardly in their manifestations of diseases, “- said the scientist.

According to him, this is a general biological pattern. In both cases, patients have neuroinflammation and a role for microglial cells.

“Only in one case is the launch of a multi-year process, the finish of which will be Alzheimer's disease. And at another stage, when the same gene triggers processes similar in biological sense, for certain reasons they proceed excessively violently, in an inadequately aggressive form, leading to a cytokine storm and severe coronavirus consequences. Conventionally, in Alzheimer's disease we have a “microcytokine” storm – imperceptible, slowed down and stretching for decades. And in the case of the coranavirus, this cytokine storm is violent, instantaneous, ”explained Illarioshkin.

“I think that this is not the only gene that is common for infections and neurodegeneration, and in theory there are dozens of such genes. There is no doubt that such discoveries are still ahead of us, ”he added.

A virologist, professor at Moscow State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences Alexei Agranovsky has a similar opinion.

“The influence of the human OAS-1 gene on the development of Alzheimer's disease and COVID-19 is possible. The data is noteworthy. There is no doubt that the patient's genes influence the development of various infectious and non-infectious diseases, there is no sensation here. The degree of influence of OAS-1 on these diseases is insignificant, ”the scientist told RBC.

The geriatrician, head of the educational department of the department of polyclinic therapy of the Moscow State Medical University, Yuri Konev, in turn, called the infection and Alzheimer's disease different processes.

“These are two different processes. Alzheimer's disorders are mostly gene-related, of course. Alzheimer's is a hereditary disease associated with the production of certain proteins, a violation of protein metabolism, and the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is completely different processes not related to protein metabolism. It's like associating a sore throat with a broken leg, ”Konev commented to RBC.

On October 8, scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles identified a gene whose variants increase both the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and the severe course of coronavirus, Medical Xpress reports.

Researchers estimate that one genetic variant of the OAS1 gene increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease by about 3-6% in the general population, while associated variants of the same gene increase the likelihood of severe coronavirus outcomes.

Scientists sequenced the genetic data of 2,547 people, half of whom suffered from Alzheimer's disease. They found that people with a certain variation, called rs1131454, of the OAS1 gene were more likely to have Alzheimer's.

In addition, by examining four variants of the OAS1 gene that reduce its activity, the researchers found that variants that increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease are inherited along with variants that also increase the baseline risk of needing intensive COVID-19 therapy by as much as 20%.

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