Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Its Neuroinvasive Capacity: Is It Time for Melatonin?


Romero A, Ramos E, López-Muñoz F, Gil-Martín E, Escames G, Reiter RJ




Cell Mol Neurobiol . 2020 Aug 9;1-12.

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The world faces an exceptional new public health concern caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), subsequently termed the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although the clinical symptoms mostly have been characterized, the scientific community still doesn´t know how SARS-CoV-2 successfully reaches and spreads throughout the central nervous system (CNS) inducing brain damage. The recent detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in frontal lobe sections from postmortem examination has confirmed the presence of the virus in neural tissue.

This finding reveals a new direction in the search for a neurotherapeutic strategy in the COVID-19 patients with underlying diseases. Here, we discuss the COVID-19 outbreak in a neuroinvasiveness context and suggest the therapeutic use of high doses of melatonin, which may favorably modulate the immune response and neuroinflammation caused by SARS-CoV-2. However, clinical trials elucidating the efficacy of melatonin in the prevention and clinical management in the COVID-19 patients should be actively encouraged.

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