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Could Autism Spectrum Disorders Be A Risk Factor For covid-19?

Date: July 18 2020

Summary: Autism Spectrum Disorders as a potential risk factor in COVID-19 outcomes

Keywords: ##bibliography #asd #autism #covid19 ##pandemic #archive


M. E. de Sousa Lima, L. C. M. Barros, and G. F. AragĂŁo, "Could Autism Spectrum Disorders be a Risk Factor for COVID-19?," Med Hypotheses, May 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109899.

Table of Contents

    1. Cytokine Observations in ASD and COVID19
  1. How To Cite
  2. References
  3. Discussion:

NOTE: The journal medical hypothesis lacks a standard peer review process, but is often utilized to posit ideas quickly.

Purpose of paper: consolidate data to support the hypothesis of ASD being a risk for COVID19 like other risks.

Involves several modifications at the genetic and at the immune level (e.g. increases of inflammatorycytokines and abnormal immune response in several levels). [1] Some are conditions considered risk-factor of symptomatic COVID-19 and its mortality.

Cytokine Observations in ASD and COVID19

Initially there is an endogenous immune response in the presence of COVID19. The response is linked to the destruction level of the virus, the patient’s innateresponse, and it determines its inflammation status and symptomatology. [2]

Secretory increases of ACE-2 was correlated with COVID-19 patients [3]. There seem to exist an ACE-2 superexpression leading to a pro-inflammatory state, related to cardiac and pulmonary damage [3] ACE-2 is a regulator in angiotensin-2transformation into angiotensin-(1-7) metabolite. It has inflammatory effects producing vasodilatation, anti-proliferation and apoptosis. This is common to CVD conditions [4].

Coronavirus also has the characteristic of being neuroinvasive. [5] This characteristic shows via:- Febrile seizures - Encephalitis - Convulsions - Change in mental status Some neurological symptomsfound in COVID-19 patients are non-specific, such as headache, dizziness and confusion. Neurological symptoms were directly related to patients. [6] Thereby, we can hypothesize that its physiopathology might have a strict relation with the nervous system.

How To Cite

Zelko, Jacob. Could Autism Spectrum Disorders Be A Risk Factor For covid-19?. July 18 2020.


[1] H. Ormstad, V. Bryn, O. D. Saugstad, O. Skjeldal, and M. Maes, “Role of the immune system in autism spectrum disorders (ASD),” CNS Neurol. Disord.-Drug Targets Former. Curr. Drug Targets-CNS Neurol. Disord., vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 489–495, 2018.

[2] Y. Shi et al., “COVID-19 infection: The perspectives on immune responses,” 2020.

[3] Y.-Y. Zheng, Y.-T. Ma, J.-Y. Zhang, and X. Xie, “COVID-19 and the cardiovascular system,” Nat. Rev. Cardiol., vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 259–260, 2020.

[4] A. J. Turner, J. A. Hiscox, and N. M. Hooper, “ACE2: From vasopeptidase to SARS virus receptor,” Trends Pharmacol. Sci., vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 291–294, 2004.

[5] A. A. Asadi-Pooya and L. Simani, “Central nervous system manifestations of COVID-19: A systematic review,” J. Neurol. Sci., p. 116832, 2020.

[6] G. Conde, L. D. Q. Pájaro, I. D. Q. Marzola, Y. R. Villegas, and L. R. M. Salazar, “Neurotropism of SARS-CoV 2: Mechanisms and manifestations,” J. Neurol. Sci., 2020.


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