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Blood sugar levels affect the severity of COVID-19 disease

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Elevated glucose levels cause lung damage and thrombosis after getting COVID-19.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 400,000 scholarly articles, including over 150,000 containing full-text papers linked to COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and other coronaviruses, have been made open access, including the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19).

The CORD-19 dataset is the most comprehensive coronavirus research collection available for data mining to date, and the coalition behind it has challenged AI experts to use natural language processing and other machine learning techniques to generate new insights that could aid in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Using Blue Graph, a unifying Python framework that analyzes extracted text concepts to create knowledge graphs, the team, led by Prof. Henry Markram, Founder and Director of the Blue Brain Project, created specific knowledge infographics to focus on all observations that deemed glucose in the context of respiratory diseases, coronaviruses, and COVID-19.

This enabled the investigation of the potential function of glucose at various levels, from the most superficial clinical connections to the most profound biochemical pathways implicated in the disease.

Multiple lines of evidence emerged from the facts and conclusions of thousands of papers collected, indicating that increased blood glucose levels were either caused by faulty glucose metabolism, or induced during hospitalization, medication treatments, or IV administration.

This method showed how increased glucose aids practically every phase of the viral infection, from beginning in the lungs to severe consequences such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, multi-organ failure, and thrombotic events.

The team concludes that high glucose levels are associated with a more severe course of COVID-19: from lung damage to thrombosis and multiple organ failure.

“Subsequently, in the paper, we discuss the potential consequences of this hypothesis and propose areas for further investigation into diagnostics, treatments and interventions that may help to reduce the severity of COVID-19 and help manage the public health impact of the pandemic,” says Blue Brain’s Molecular Biologist Dr. Emmanuelle Logette.

Source: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.695139

Image Credit: Blue Brain Project / EPFL

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