Special Issue on COVID-19 and its Effects on Neurological Function

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Previously called 2019-nCov or 2019 Novel Coronavirus, it was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses and can cause various diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). COVID-19 appears to be highly contagious, may affect older adults and those with chronic comorbid conditions disproportionately, and may be more lethal than the flu. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in serious cases, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome. Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19.

While patients usually present with cough, fever, and shortness of breath, neurological changes have also been recently reported in a few cases. For example, seizures, confusion, stroke, and signs of encephalitis have been reported in Italy and the USA. In addition, some patients have experienced impairments in smell and taste. While neurological complications seem so far to be rare, there is the concern that exposure to COVID-19 in recovered patients may have lasting effects on memory and cognition, similar to what is seen in some cases with influenza. Understanding the molecular neurobiological mechanisms of COVID-19 would be timely and have great scientific importance.

The aim of this Special Issue is to shed light on the potential effects of COVID-19 on neurological function. This includes original research that examines the family of coronaviruses and neurological function in general. Molecular mechanisms involving COVID-19, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), and inflammation are potential areas of focus. Also, studies evaluating if COVID-19 affects mechanisms of memory and other cognitive functions in those that recovered from COVID-19 infection would be of interest. Review articles that analyze the current literature on the molecular biology of coronaviruses in the nervous system are also welcomed. Case Reports that provide new insights on COVID-19 on brain function would be considered as well.

Articles will be accessible online soon after acceptance. There is no charge for publication in the journal. Springer Nature is working with global organizations to support the sharing of relevant research and data, with further details available here.

When you submit your paper through MOLN Editorial Manager, please identify your contribution to be part of this Special Issue.

Benedict C. Albensi, PhD, BCMAS, CRQM
Molecular Neurobiology