Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for infecting and spreading in humans. Studies have shown that the widespread expression of ACE2 in human tissues may be associated with organ function damage (e.g., lung, kidney, and stomach) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, in neurodegenerative diseases, whose pathogenesis is closely related to advanced age, ACE2 plays a neurotrophic and protective role by activating the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis, thus inhibiting cognitive impairment. Early reports have revealed that the elderly are more susceptible to COVID-19 and that elderly patients with COVID-19 have faster disease progression and higher mortality. Therefore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to understand the role of ACE2 in neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we review the relationship between COVID-19, neurodegenerative diseases, and ACE2, as well as provide recommendations for the protection of elderly patients with neurodegenerative diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.