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People with severe mental disorders have been identified as a high-risk group, Pixabay

Patients treated with antipsychotic drugs have a lower risk of becoming infected or suffer a milder form of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus causing Covid-19 — if they get infected, according to a study. People with severe mental disorders have been identified as a high-risk group for a worse outcome in Covid-19 due to lower awareness of risk, higher prevalence of cognitive impairment among others.

But, “the number of Covid-19 patients is lower than expected among this group of people and in cases where a proven infection does occur, the evolution is benign and does not reach a life-threatening clinical situation,” said Manuel Canal Rivero, a clinical psychologist from Virgen del Rocio University Hospital in Sevilla, Spain.


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For the study, detailed in the journal Schizophrenia Research, the team examined 698 patients treated with antipsychotics at the Seville hospital in Spain and found that antipsychotic drugs could provide protection against both infection and the tendency to the clinical severity of Covid-19 infection.


The number of Covid-19 patients is lower than expected. Pixabay

The team also examined the gene expression profile (an indicator of activated biological processes) of Covid-19 patients (Wuhan cohort) and patients being treated with antipsychotic drugs (specifically, aripiprazole). They found that many of the genes altered by Covid-19 are significantly down-regulated by antipsychotic drugs, which are commonly used to treat diseases with psychotic symptoms.

ALSO READ: A Better Nasal Swab For Covid-19 Testing Developed In US

“In a striking way we have shown how antipsychotics reduce the activation of genes involved in many of the inflammatory and immunological pathways associated with the severity of Covid-19 infection,” said Crespo-Facorro, Professor at the varsity.

“Although this finding requires replication, the discovery could be very significant because the treatment of Covid-19 with drugs originally indicated for unrelated clinical situations, that is to say, drug repositioning, has been shown to be an interesting source of effective treatments for Covid-19 patients,” he said. (IANS/SP)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)