The bizarre cascade of effects of the coronavirus may be due to the excessive production of a chemical that regulates blood pressure — throwing the body’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological pathways off-balance, a new study has found.
Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, using its supercomputers — one of which is the second-fastest in the world — analyzed lung fluid samples from nine coronavirus patients with severe cases in Wuhan, China, Business Insider reported.
The computers detected big differences in way the patients expressed certain genes relative to the way healthy people do. Based on those abnormalities, the researchers came up with a new theory: Patients with severe COVID-19 may experience what’s known as a “bradykinin storm.”
The blood pressure regulating chemical produced extreme excess and throws off major body systems, they found — a theory that aligns with researchers’ growing view of the coronavirus as a vascular disease instead of a respiratory one, BI reported.
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