July 9, 2020

Inflammation: Autoimmune Disease and COVID-19

People with autoimmune disease face a number of challenges – their condition can cause pain, skin problems, digestive issues, weakness, muscle aches, stiff joints, and more. Autoimmune diseases and their treatments can weaken immune systems to leave patients vulnerable to infections. These conditions can also cause inflammation around the body, and even in vital organs, such as the lungs. In patients with COVID-19, an unhealthy immune response can damage the lungs to cause serious complications, including severe breathing problems.

Autoimmune Diseases and Inflammation

The immune system protects the body from disease and infection. In people with autoimmune disorders, though, the immune system can attack healthy body cells by mistake. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, according to the National Library of Medicine. Autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Sjogren’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s disease, Celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.
Some autoimmune diseases target just one organ, such the pancreas; other autoimmune conditions affect the entire body. Many of autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms. A large number of autoimmune conditions cause inflammation, characterized by redness, heat, pain and swelling. In fact, inflammation is the classic sign of an autoimmune disease.

COVID-19 and Inflammation

The virus, known as SARS-CoV-2 or simply “coronavirus,” causes a wide variety of symptoms associated with COVID-19 disease. Most notably, the virus causes cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Coronavirus is highly contagious, already infecting at least 2 million people in the United States by the middle of June 2020, and claiming the lives of 113,000. While people with autoimmune disorders are not more likely to contract coronavirus than are the rest of the general population, they are more likely to develop severe complications if they do contract COVID-19 if they have a suppressed immune system due to their autoimmune disease or treatment for their autoimmune disorder. One of the most serious complications of COVID-19 is severe inflammation throughout the body, including the lungs, heart and brain. The body reacts to the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a robust inflammatory response; health professionals now regard this excessive inflammatory response as a hallmark symptom of COVID-19.
The excessive immune response triggered by SARS-CoV-2 can cause hyper-inflammation of the lungs and of other organs. Severe inflammation of the lungs can prevent the proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which makes it difficult for patients to get the oxygen they need.

How Autoimmune Diseases Cause Inflammation

Special receptors cover the exterior surface of body cells. Proteins bind to these receptors to change the way the cell works. A specific type of protein, known as cytokines, binds to certain receptors to regulate the body’s immune response. Cytokines are mediators, which mean they trigger and control a body response. Specifically, cytokines mediate the inflammation response to tissue injury or infection. In other words, cytokines promote inflammation as a response to tissue injury or infection. There are several types of cytokines, and each type can work alone, work together, or work against each other to regulate the immune response. A special type of cytokine, known as interleukin or IL, may play an important role in the immune response in COVID-19 patients. There are 40 interleukins, IL-1 through IL-40, and each performs a function. Interleukins normally help the immune system fight off viruses and bacteria in the body, but an overactive immune system can cause interleukins to attack the body instead. This can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions.
In a significant physiological event, known as a cytokine storm, can cause the release of a flood of interleukin that leads to widespread and dangerous inflammation. Research shows that COVID-19 can cause a cytokine storm that releases IL-6, IL-1, IL-12, and IL-18. The excessive number of cytokines can damage tissue and could lead to the breakdown of the protective lining in the lungs and blood vessels. The breakdown and weakening of this protective lining can allow fluid and proteins to leak from blood vessels and into the tiny air sacs of the lungs. This fluid displaces air, which prevents the air sacs from filling with oxygen. The resulting lack of oxygen causes the patient to experience shortness of breath, and puts the patient at a higher risk for complications and a more severe case of COVID-19. Inflammation related to autoimmune disease can have serious consequences for patients. This is especially true for those who contract COVID-19. To View Frank Magliochetti Press Releases Please CLICK HERE Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment. Most recently; Frank was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Designer Genomics International, Inc. The Company has accumulated a growing body of evidence that highlights a link between alterations in the immune and inflammatory systems and the development of chronic human disease. The Company is visionary and has established itself as a leader in the field of inflammatory and immune genetic DNA and RNA biomarkers that play a causative role in debilitating conditions, such as atherosclerosis/heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and cancer.
A proprietary state-of-the art data mining bioinformatics program, called ‘cluster analysis’ will be used to measure disease development susceptibility with potential for earlier diagnosis and intervention. The company is developing a healthcare program based on its proprietary genetic panels that will allow people to be their own healthcare advocate and take an active role in their health status as well as longevity.
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Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA Managing Partner Parcae Capital www.parcaecapitalcorp.com www.frankmagliochetti.com

SOURCES:

https://medlineplus.gov/autoimmunediseases.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.htmlhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499840/https://www.medscape.com/answers/2500114-197455/what-is-the-role-of-interleukin-il-inhibitors-in-the-treatment-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Covid19 The Pandemic (Almost) Nobody Saw Coming

Of all the changes 2020 had brought, almost nobody saw coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) coming.

First reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the newly discovered coronavirus (2019-nCoV) quickly made its way around the globe, killing thousands and sickening hundreds of thousands more. There is quite a bit of information out there to disseminate we felt it time to give an overview and a few thoughts on Covid-19; as this situation is fluid we do expect to add more information in future posts.

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning the disease had spread to multiple continents around the globe. Like other pandemics, COVID-19 seemed to move swiftly, taking governments, healthcare providers and citizens by surprise. 

Not everyone was blindsided, though – a handful of experts in global health, the biosciences, national security, emergency response and economics got together in October 2019 to talk about what would happen if a global pandemic suddenly hit the world’s population. The experts discussed how Americans and others around the world would fare if a novel and highly transmissible coronavirus outbreak reached pandemic proportions.

Just as its real-life counterpart did, the fictional coronavirus jumped between countries and continents via international air travel. In both accounts, the virus caused problems for health care systems, economies, and political leaders. The fictional scenario assumed governments would first try closing borders and banning travel, but by the time authorities enacted border closures and travel bans, carriers would have unknowingly transmitted the disease to others before developing symptoms. The experts also projected the travel bans would disrupt trade and worsen international cooperation.

The simulation provided a shocking glimpse into the near future, but in today’s rapid-fire news cycle, very few people took notice. When the predictions began to come true in the form of COVID-19, many people regarded the threat somebody else’s problem because it was occurring in another country and could never reach the shores of our nation. Others thought COVID-19 was nothing more than a seasonal influenza. They were wrong on both counts.

COVID-19 is Here, and it is More than Just a Flu

The first patient with COVID-19 walked into a U.S. emergency department on January 19, 2020. Today, thousands of Americans have tested positive for novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 is similar to the flu in many ways, and is significantly different in other ways. Both are infectious illnesses, for example, and both cause a dry cough and fever. Influenza causes aches, chills, fatigue, and headache and chills; these symptoms are less common with COVID-19. Flu symptoms come on suddenly, getting worse over a day or two. Symptoms of COVID-19 develop gradually, worsening over the course of several days.

COVID-19 is different from the flu in other ways:

  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath are the hallmarks of COVID-19 – they are also signs to seek immediate medical attention; flu does not cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • COVID-19 is more likely to kill than the flu – about 3.4 percent of people with COVID-19 have died and seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected
  • Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and it will probably take a year to develop one
  • There is no treatment for COVID-19
  • Children, who are typically at high risk of contracting flu, are at lower risk for COVID-19 than are older adults

With a higher basic reproduction number, which is the number of infections one infected person can cause COVID-19, is more infectious than the flu. COVID-19 seems to have a basic reproduction number somewhere between 2 and 2.5, so the average person infected with the coronavirus spreads the disease to 2 to 3 other people. The basic reproduction number of seasonal influenza varies from year to year, but is often about 1.28.

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on nearly every segment of the population, but it presents special danger to some. Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine Dawn Brown reported an increase in calls to the NAMI hotline. Callers expressed a wide variety of concerns, including feelings of depression and loneliness from social isolation, worries about job stability and income, fears of getting sick, grief over the death of a loved one, and homelessness. “Right now, the bigger concerns are around anxieties about the unknowns, you don’t know what you don’t know, and the people we serve tend to be a little more vulnerable to anxiety and panic.”

What Happens in the Future Depends Largely on What We Do Today

Arguably late to the situation, the U.S. government issued The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which directs citizens to listen to state and local authorities, stay home when sick, self-isolation measures, and good hygiene. States have issued a variety of public health emergency declarations, including the activation of National Guards, school and business closures, and limits on event sizes.

The medical community geared up quickly in response to the pandemic. Hospitals began enacting preparedness plans, clinicians developed treatment plans for critically ill patients, and researchers immediately turned their attention to developing a vaccine. Mayo Clinic announced the development of a new test that provides results in 24 hours.

The actions of individuals, families, businesses and communities will have the greatest influence in how the pandemic ends – they will also bear the brunt of its consequences. In even the best case scenario, hundreds or thousands of people in the United States could perish; new research suggests the number of deaths in the nation could exceed 2 million.

While nobody knows exactly how COVID-19 will change our lives, almost everyone can agree that the changes will be profound.

To View Frank Magliochetti Press Releases Please CLICK HERE

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.

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Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

SOURCES:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/news/2020/3/who-announces-covid-19-outbreak-a-pandemic

https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—3-march-2020

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200306-sitrep-46-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=96b04adf_2

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265345236_Estimates_of_the_reproduction_number_for_seasonal_pandemic_and_zoonotic_influenza_A_systematic_review_of_the_literature

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

https://www.nga.org/coronavirus/#stateshttps://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/COVID19/Documents/COVID-19%20Healthcare%20Planning%20Checklist.pdf

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762996

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/03/12/new-mayo-clinic-test-could-speed-detection-of-covid19

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf