NEW DELHI : Scientists at the Indian Institute of Scientific Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have found that drugs used to treat diabetes, obesity and aging can potentially be used to treat covid-19.
Scientists also said that there are similar naturally occurring biomolecules that can also be explored in combination for the treatment of covid-19.
Dr. Amjad Husain, Principal Scientist and CEO of the Center for Innovation and Incubation for Entrepreneurship (IICE), IISER Bhopal, as well as researchers from the University of Arizona, USA, recently published a review of the biomolecular relationships between covid-19, aging, and diabetes.
Their review, co-authored by Dr Udeep Chawla, Dr Manoj Kumar Kashyap and Dr Amjad Husain, was recently published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and offers insight into future directions in covid-19 therapeutics.
“With the covid-19 pandemic that has lasted for almost two years and continues to ravage the world, we are slowly starting to understand the virus and how it works. It is now known that the effects of the viral infection are severe on the aging population and people with diabetes. Studies are being conducted around the world on the effects of aging and diabetes on the short- and long-term outcomes of covid-19 infection, ”said Husain.
The published review shows that at the molecular level, there are overlapping pathways that are common to diabetes, aging, and covid-19. All three conditions are associated with oxidative stress and decreased immune response and the complications that result from it lead to the onset of many other diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, eye disease, neuropathy (nervous disease) and nephropathy ( kidney problems).
Researchers believe that an ideal therapeutic candidate for covid-19 should be able to target pathways common to diabetes, aging, and SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are classes of compounds such as polyphenols found in plant-based foods – curcumin (found in turmeric) and resveratrol (found in grapes) have not only slowed down the aging process, but also have properties antivirals, ”says Husain.
Some other polyphenols that researchers have identified as being useful for both the treatment of covid-19 and co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and aging may include catechins (found in green tea, cocoa, and berries) , procyanidins (found in apples, cinnamon, and grape skin), and theaflavin (found in black tea).
Researchers are also presenting evidence of some existing potential anti-aging drugs, such as rapamycin, that may be explored for treatment against covid-19 due to the common biochemical pathways associated with these diseases. Another example is a drug Metformin, which is typically used to control blood sugar.
Scientists have also performed computer studies to show that lipids in cell membranes play an important role in the infectivity of coronaviruses. Natural compounds such as polyphenols can affect virus binding to host receptors and the molecular interactions required for virus replication and release, thus stopping infection in its early stages.
“There is an urgent need to pre-screen effective therapies from the existing pool of potential compounds,” as the time required to discover a new drug and its approval takes longer, Hussain said.
Scientists have said that natural compounds such as curcumin and resveratrol, among others, and existing drugs such as metformin and Rapamyci have the potential to be tested extensively for the treatment of covid-19 and post-syndrome. coronavirus.
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