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Coronavirus induces oxidative stress leading to autonomic dysfunction often with delayed symptom onset
Introduction. Coronavirus, like other viruses and many chronic and serious pathologies, induce Oxidative Stress. Oxidative Stress largely affects the Mitochondria of cells. Cardiac and Nerve Cells are known to contain the largest numbers of Mitochondria of the cells in the body. The effect of Oxidative Stress on the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic (P&S) branches of the Autonomic Nervous System is to induce dysfunction. P&S Dysfunction further affects the heart and other organs and systems of the body. Since the P&S branches are designed to work together to maintain normal organ function, even when dysfunctional, organ dysfunction is often delayed until P&S dysfunction is very significant. Symptoms are not induced or realized until organ dysfunction presents. This delay in symptoms often appears to be health, and therefore is often not associated with the causal factor, such as Coronavirus; yet this is what underlies post-COVID syndrome. Focus. Symptoms resulting from P&S dysfunction are often long-term and significantly impact patient quality of life and productivity. Symptoms include severe fatigue, anxiety, depression, lightheadedness, sleep difficulties, brain fog, cognitive and memory difficulties, GI disturbances, shortness of breath, palpitations, and more. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often not believed because these patients’ resting state is normal, including office exams, blood work, urine analysis, and other tests administered at rest, including many autonomic tests. Fortunately, with COVID patients, post-COVID is now recognized. However, the underlying P&S dysfunction is not evident during the resting state; it is only evident during the dynamic states, when tests are typically not performed. This editorial highlights the possibility of delayed viral and other trauma (mental or physical) induced conditions using Coronavirus as the exemplar. Conclusion. Oxidative Stress-induced P&S dysfunction describes the possible types of P&S dysfunction, and offers possible therapy options to restore proper P&S function (balance).