Scientists discover a cause of long COVID fatigue

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The diagnosis and treatment of long COVID syndrome (LCS) are still very difficult, and there is only a little knowledge about the factors causing accompanying symptoms.

In a study from the University of Vienna and elsewhere, scientists found new evidence of triggers for fatigue following COVID-19 infection.

They showed that an exaggerated anti-inflammatory response is likely to be responsible for LCS.

Today millions of people suffer from long COVID syndrome (LCS), which significantly affects their quality of life. However, it is not easy to diagnose and treat due to a lack of understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms.

In the study, the team used mass spectrometry-based post-genomic analysis techniques.

The strength of these methods lies in the very comprehensive mapping of actual conditions, i.e. the traceability of disease processes taking place in a patient.

In the course of a viral infection, there is normally a very strong activation of the immune system.

But in virtually all of the Long COVID patients studied, corresponding markers such as cytokines, acute phase proteins, and eicosanoids, which indicate inflammation, were in fact hardly detectable.

The team found the differences were more pronounced in long COVID patients compared to asymptomatic patients recovering from COVID disease than in healthy controls.

This finding shows that there was indeed some residual inflammatory response detectable in asymptomatic recovered patients, whereas Long COVID patients had the opposite finding.

The researchers were able to find several anti-inflammatory proteins, lipids and metabolites in long COVID patients, which on the one hand could contribute to the most important LCS symptoms.

The blood plasma analyses of LCS patients allow a deep insight into the physiological processes of the patients.

The team says the pathology of LCS disease is crystallizing more and more clearly, which of course enables a completely new assessment of risk factors and therapy options.

The researchers are confident that they will be able to offer much improved diagnostic options for LCS and, above all, monitoring methods to evaluate the effects of therapy.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about new face mask to deactivate COVID-19, and new antiviral drug may block COVID-19 transmission.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about new evidence on rare blood clots after COVID-19 vaccination, and results showing mouthwashes may suppress COVID-19 virus.

The study was conducted by Christopher Gerner et al and published in iScience.

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