Coronavirus may relieve pain, says new study

Chennai: Yes, you should believe this. A new study has claimed that the novel coronavirus which causes Covid-19 may relieve pain. It tries to explain why nearly 50 per cent of the infected people experience few or no symptoms, even though they are able to spread the disease.

Published in the journal PAIN, the research says the scientists raised the possibility that pain, as an early symptom of Covid-19, may be reduced by the coronavirus spike protein as it silences the “body’s pain signalling pathways”.

Scientists including Rajesh Khanna from the University of Arizona in the US said nearly half of Covid-19 transmission occurs prior to the onset of symptoms, and 40 per cent of infections are asymptomatic.

“It made a lot of sense to me that perhaps the reason for the unrelenting spread of Covid-19 is that in the early stages, you’re walking around all fine as if nothing is wrong because your pain has been suppressed,” Khanna said.

Early in the pandemic, scientists established that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spike protein uses the human cells’ angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to enter the body.

Later in June, two studies published in the preprint server bioRxiv pointed to neuropilin-1 as a second receptor for SARS-CoV-2, the researchers said.

“That caught our eye because for the last 15 years my lab has been studying a complex of proteins and pathways that relate to pain processing that are downstream of neuropilin,” Khanna said.


NT Bureau