Chloroquine and Covid
Francesca Claridge-Owen | University of Warwick
In December 2019 SARS-CoV-2 was discovered, which causes Covid-19. Human-human transmission was identified, and WHO announced a worldwide pandemic on 11th March 2020. Covid-19 has caused over 700,000 deaths globally.
There is currently no treatment for Covid-19 and repurposing current drugs with known safety profiles was an attractive option. Aminoquinolines were trialled against Covid-19. Preliminary in vitro results showed encouraging results.
This study will review data on the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. I will search PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library database, ClinicalTrials.gov and medRxiv.org for published and preprint studies. I will include, RCTs, retrospective studies, observational studies and case reports. I will accept variation of methodology due to limited data available.
Five preprint and five published peer reviewed studies were included. There was significant heterogeneity between papers, including different doses of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. Most studies had a low number of patients included and admitted that they were underpowered.
Three studies included reported results which were statistically significant supporting the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. Two studies had statistically significant results reporting worse outcomes with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. Five studies reported no statistically significant results between standard care and the use of an aminoquinoline.
There is no reliable evidence that either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine will significantly improve the condition of patients with Covid-19. Due to known side effects of these drugs, it would be sensible to be cautious when giving them as they may have no benefit to patients with Covid-19.
The Role of the Autophagy-Inducer Spermidine in Cardiovascular Ageing
Isa Hassan | University of Warwick
Spermidine is a compound of the polyamine family which has been shown in a number of animal models to stimulate autophagy and result in a number of cardioprotective effects. It is an easily accessible nutrient being particularly abundant in wheatgerm, fermented soybeans and aged cheeses. Spermidine cellular concentrations have been shown to decrease with age and correlates with impaired cardiovascular health. It is proposed that increasing consumption of this nutrient has implications in improving cardiovascular health.
A keyword search was carried out using 'Spermidine and autophagy and cardiovascular health'. Search engines PubMed, Google Scholar and Web of Science were used to collate papers. Inclusion criteria included: 1) English Language 2) Peer Reviewed Studies 3) Ethical approval acquired where relevant 4) No evidence of bias in research (Relevant conflicts of interest). The final analysis included 22 papers.
Spermidine has shown promise in the preservation of cardiovascular health in a number of animal models. Spermidine's effectiveness is predominantly through the induction of autophagy and increased nitric oxide synthesis, all improving cardiovascular health. A survey study in humans has correlated increased spermidine intake with increased cardiovascular health. More thorough research is needed to elucidate a strong connection between spermidine intake and increased cardiovascular health in humans
Animal models and a human survey study have highlighted the potential of spermidine in improving cardiovascular health. With ageing populations, the simple introduction of a compound that can be acquired through diet and have a drastic cardiovascular impact is an attractive implication for improving overall health.