Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-like cognitive impairment, a kind of Neuro-COVID syndrome, is a reported complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the specific mechanisms remain largely unknown. A team led by researchers at Beihang University integrated single-nucleus RNA-sequencing data to explore the potential shared genes and pathways that may lead to cognitive dysfunction in AD and COVID-19. The researchers also constructed ingenuity AD-high-risk scores based on AD-high-risk genes from transcriptomic, proteomic, and Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) data to identify disease-associated cell subtypes and potential targets in COVID-19 patients. They demonstrated that the primary disturbed cell populations were astrocytes and neurons between the above two dis-eases that exhibit cognitive impairment. They identified significant relationships between COVID-19 and AD involving synaptic dysfunction, neuronal damage, and neuroinflammation. These findings may provide new insight for future studies to identify novel targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions in COVID-19 patients.
Overall landscape of cells
(A) Schematic of datasets from COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s Disease Cohorts. (B) Heatmap showing the expression of signature genes in the cells. (C) UMAP visualization of the cell clusters. (D) Composition of each subtype of cells.