Researcher scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, using its supercomputers, analyzed lung fluid samples from nine Corona Virus patients with severe cases in Wuhan, China, Business Insider reported. One of the supercomputers reportedly tagged as the second-fastest in the world.
A cascade of effects of the coronavirus may be due to the excessive production of a chemical that regulates blood pressure. A new study found out that it throws the body’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological pathways off balance.
However, the supercomputers detected a vast difference in the way genes express themselves relative to healthy ones. Based on their abnormalities, researchers devised a new theory.
Patients with severe COVID-19 may experience a “bradykinin storm.”
Bradykinin refers to the blood pressure regulating chemicals. The chemical, however, produces itself in extreme cases. This theory henceforth points out to the growing view of corona as a vascular disease instead of a respiratory one.
How does the Corona Virus have such a broad set of symptoms across several systems?
Dr. Daniel Jacobson, the lead researcher behind the supercomputer study, told BI. As they looked at the effects of bradykinin, their model was that this virus could affect several different types of tissues, several other organs.”
Corona Virus binds to cell receptors called ACE2. This way, the virus sneaks into the body’s upper respiratory tract. Therefore, it affects organs like the lungs, heart, kidney, or intestines.
Supercomputers gave the result that patients had a 200-fold increase in the expression of ACE2. A healthy person has an eightfold decrease in the face of ACE2, therefore keeps the blood pressure in check.
According to research, the imbalance leads to the over-production of bradykinin. So it swoops in to keep blood pressure from getting too high.
The researchers suggested that a drug called icatibant blocks the body’s signal to produce bradykinin. The drug, however, could help treat infected patients. A not so large study showed that 4/9 patients who got the drug no longer needed oxygen support after 10 to 35 hours.