Autism Spectrum Disorder patients may be susceptible to COVID-19 disease due to deficiency in melatonin
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Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be particularly prone to develop COVID-19. An unusual extended course of COVID-19 disease illness has been reported in one ASD patient and a group of patients have COVID-19 disease in a neurodevelopmental facility. It has been widely reported that many of those with ASD have substantial sleep disorders with low levels of melatonin and various genetic alterations related to melatonin production have been found. Several lines of evidence point to a substantial role of melatonin in the body's innate defense system including acting as a scavenger, an antioxidant and modulating the immune system. We therefore hypothesize that melatonin deficiency may predispose those ASD patients who have low melatonin output to COVID-19 disease. Potential implications for treatment are discussed.
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