Covid-19 More Dangerous for Elderly:
Researchers have published research that provides evidence of why the Covid-19 infection has been more dangerous for elderly proples.
Some genes in the body that play a key role in allowing the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 novel to invade heart cells become more potent.
When the novel coronavirus first appeared, it was considered a major respiratory disease. As research continues, it has become clear that Covid-19 patients, especially the elderly, also suffer from heart problems. An international team of researchers has investigated the link between Covid-19 and heart failure. Specifically, they examine cells called cardiomyocytes, which make up the heart muscle and can break down and relax. Damage to these cells can lead to heart failure.
The researchers compared cardiomyocytes from five young men (19–25 years old) and five adult males (63–78). They found that genes that provide the body with instructions to make key proteins used by the virus in cell hijacking, known as ACE2 receptors, are more active in adult male cardiomyocytes. This suggests that there may be an increase in supplemental protein in older cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes form the heart muscle and can cut and relax, causing the heart to pump blood throughout the body.
Damage to these cells affects heart function, leading to heart failure. To cause damage, the virus must first enter the cell. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus – a circular structure with a ‘spike’ protein on its top, which it uses to gain entry. Spike protein binds ACE2 to the protein component found in specific cells. This puts these cells at greater risk for viral damage and may be one reason why age is a major risk factor for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study also proposed new targeted drugs such as viral binding to bind ACE2 to help protect the heart.
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