A group of scientists has been able to find a new treatment for COVID19. Melatonin, an over the counter sleep aid might be efficient in preventing and treating COVID19. Melatonin is typically used as an add-on drug to reduce jet lag. It is an unapproved treatment for insomnia as well. Now, experts believe that it can have many benefits as well other than aiding a good-night sleep. This study has been done by experts from the Cleveland Clinic. It suggests that the hormone can be quite beneficial for patients who have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study has used the data of COVID19 patients from the Cleveland Clinic. Experts have found that the melatonin hormone is linked to a 30 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with COVID19. They have concluded this after adjusting factors such as age, race, many health comorbidities, and smoking habits. The findings of this research have been released in the journal PLOS biology.
Experts have derived these findings on melatonin through a novel artificial intelligence platform. This AI program has been developed by Lerner’s Research Institute to determine possible drugs, which can be used to treat or prevent COVID19. They have joined network medicine methodologies and vast electronic health records to find clinical demonstrations and pathologies, which are common between COVID19 and other diseases. They have looked at the contiguity between the host genes and those linked with 64 other ailments across many illness categories such as malignant cancers and autoimmune diseases and neurological, cardiovascular metabolic pulmonary diseases. In this case, proximity shows a higher chance of clinical connections between the diseases. For example, in many cases, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and sepsis have been found as two key causes of mortality in patients with COVID19. Experts have said that genes linked to these two diseases have been connected with multiple proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This study has shown that drugs which have been proved to treat these conditions might help treat COVID19 as well. The lead author of the study Dr. Feixiong Cheng has said that these drugs will act on some shared biological targets. Towards the end of the study, experts have found that autoimmune, pulmonary, and neurological diseases as well have shown significant network closeness to SARS-CoV-2 genes. They have identified around 34 drugs, which can be repurposed for the treatment of COVID19. Melatonin has been an essential drug among those medicines. However, scientists have warned people from taking melatonin without consulting their health provided. They have said that there is a need for randomized clinical trials and other observational studies to validate the results of this research.