//Credit where it is over due: This post would have been impossible without the courage and convictions of Dr. Kevin W McCairn, Ph.D. Neuroscientist-Reaseacher. His work on elucidating the mechanisms behind Tourette’s Disorder for children led to his insights regarding the brain-behavior connections of Covid19 viral infections. He brought the public’s attention to outlier behaviors of Covid19 patients such as spitting, smearing infected fluids on elevator buttons, spitting on produce, coughing of infected persons on uninfected persons, and fist fighting of normally over-socialized persons over purchasing face masks. He has used his youtube channel under his own name, to broadcast a warning to all persons about these dangerous behaviors and their source in Covid19 neurological invasion. Without his having manifested his knowledge in this courageous way, I would never have been moved to write about these critical issues.//
Let’s treat the impulsive behaviors of infected Covid19 patients as impulse control failure and excessive signaling similar to a seizure. Let’s extend that ‘electrical circuit model’ to what is happening to the respiration of covid19 patients, whose lungs are functional but who cannot breathe.
“65 year old man coughs and spits on grocery store produce in Massachusetts”. —That sounds like poor judgement (or no judgement) combined with a failure of impulse control, coupled with loss of control over salivation, coupled with disinhibition of social norms awareness.
Add to that the phenomena of respiratory failure in severe infections. A Manhattan doctor says that his traditional methods for treating respiratory distress are not effective and that he is losing many patients he would ordinarily save using traditional protocols for pneumonia. He claims his patients lungs are functional, yet they cannot access enough oxygen.
Add to that awareness that SarsCov viruses have a researched history of neurological invasion and can form the basis of a wide range of neurological disorders and symptoms. From tics or OCD behaviors, from seizures to blackouts, from hallucinations to failure to smell, failure to taste, blindness……
We can see the impact of Covid19 infection on the brain in the disruptive behaviors of spitters, fighters, and smearers on youtubes out of China, Japan and out of the news story from Mass. in the USA. It is real.
Let’s tie the impulsive behaviors and the failure of the respiratory system in Covid19 together. They both have their origins in the brain. Remember, it’s not the salivary glands nor the healthy lungs which have failed here.
(One patient kept herself alive in the ICU by voluntarily breathing her lungs when they would not operate autonomously through her brain circuitry. Her lungs were operational and responded to voluntary signaling. Her autonomous breathing circuits or switching circuits in the brain were not working while she was infected with the virus. What can we learn from her experience.?) We will return to this in a minute.
Recall that any electrical circuit requires a power source, a ground, and a load (a light bulb, a motor). Many problems in circuits are not the fault of the lightbulb or motor (in this case the lungs or the salivary glands of the spitters).
In the case of the spitters, the problem seems to be at the switch system and all of its various variable mechanisms. In the case of the lungs, the problem is either at the switch and power side or in the wiring to and from the lungs.
In the case of spitters, it is more likely that the power system is disinhibited at the switch sort of like a seizure in which too many signals are sent out, paralyzing the system. The switch appears to be stuck in the ‘on’ mode. If that is the case we can conceptualize that we need to slow the signals, or reduce the signal strength as we do with dilantin for seizures. As we do in ADHD by adding stimulants? Remember here that I have no answers, only questions.
In the case of healthy lungs failing to respond, I would check all systems. I would first make sure that the signaling circuits are structurally sound and not destroyed by the virus. I would make sure that signals are coming from the brain and at the correct strength. I would also check the lungs to make sure that the ‘ground’ side of the circuit is working. Are the lungs able to relay back to the brain that they have received the incoming signal to the lungs?
Power levels. 1) Make sure that there is not too much power on the wires to the lungs as in the case of seizures. 2) Make sure that power is not being wrongfully distributed down the incorrect circuit as in using the grounding wire to carry power by mistake to the load. If the current travels down the ground wire, there is no ‘ground’ to complete the circuit. Is there a source of resistance on the wires? Partial breaks or open wires?
Testing the switch? In power circuits you test the switch by closing it then look for power on the load side, after having established power on the power source wire. Sometimes the switch can be stuck in the open position, unable to close and complete the circuit. Sometimes the switch can close but the contacts are corroded and cannot conduct electrons. Is there a comparable way to test the medulla, the basal ganglia, the limbic system??? Are the signals from these systems in Covid19 patients at the normal strength. If the switch is partly blocked or corroded, the resistance from the blockage in the switch may reduce the signal strength in the wiring.
One patient kept herself alive in the ICU by voluntarily breathing her lungs when they would not operate autonomously through her brain circuitry. Her lungs were operational and responded to voluntary signaling. Her autonomous breathing circuits or switching circuits in the brain were not working while she was infected with the virus. What can we learn from her experience.?
Lungs?? operational. Voluntary muscles and signaling?? Okay. Her Autonomous circuit was impaired during her illness, but was able to recover after the virus cleared.
What can we do to boost the functioning of her impaired circuits during the active phase of the infection? Dopamine, stimulants, serotonin? SSRIs, Epinephrine?
Brain geography. Which part of the brain requires the shortest time for the virus to infect? It is a short distance from the olfactory bulb to the basal ganglia. Shorter than from the lungs in a retrograde infection back up through the lung neurons to the brain. Let’s assume that the type of damage to brain circuits will mimic the damage done by the virus to the olfactory bulb nerves. That assumption gives you kind of a simplistic model for damage further along the road through the brain from the virus.
Inflammation in the brain. What does Covid19 do to the wiring. Does this destroy the myelin sheath, == breaking the circuits?? Should we be looking for an ‘open circuit’ in the signaling to the lungs? (An open circuit is a wire with a gap, a ‘break’ which stops transmission of signals). Should we consider drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis?
Brain immune system functioning. What can we do to boost the immune system in the brain to aid in repair to damaged ‘wiring’???? Or, what can we do to remove virus created restraints on the brain’s immune system???? We know Lyme’s disease disables natural immune system agents and hijacks the cytokines to spread Lyme’s. What does this virus do to capture the brain’s natural immune responses? As far as I am aware, the immune system is the only agent capable of wrapping demyelinated wires with ‘black tape’ to repair the signaling circuits. Again, should we consider drugs for M.S.?? Drugs to suppress a corrosive cytokine cascade?
I am literally brainstorming here. Forgive my humble, simplistic, ignorant formulations.