Chronic fatigue could be a sign of long COVID

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Recent research from La Trobe University has made significant strides in understanding the complex relationship between myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID, shedding light on the shared and distinct aspects of these debilitating conditions.

Published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, the study delves into the similarities and differences in disease pathologies, potentially paving the way for new treatment strategies.

Dr. Sarah Annesley, leading the Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory at La Trobe, spearheaded the investigation into how ME/CFS and long COVID overlap and diverge at the molecular level.

Her research reveals that approximately half of the individuals suffering from long COVID fulfill the criteria for ME/CFS diagnosis, highlighting a significant overlap between these conditions.

This dual focus on ME/CFS and long COVID provides a unique lens through which to explore the early stages of disease development and progression, offering valuable insights for both conditions.

While both share clinical symptoms and some underlying disease mechanisms, the research aims to uncover whether they also share molecular abnormalities that could be key to understanding and treating them.

One of the pivotal findings of Dr. Annesley’s review is the identification of commonalities in disease pathology, such as an increased dependency on alternative energy sources beyond carbohydrates and changes in gut microbiota, particularly a decrease in butyrate-producing bacteria.

These insights suggest potential areas for therapeutic intervention, including treatments targeting autoimmune responses, which have shown promise in early trials.

Furthermore, the study emphasizes the importance of identifying reliable biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring ME/CFS and long COVID.

Dr. Annesley points out that measuring specific types of RNA could serve as practical indicators for ME/CFS, although further research is needed to validate these markers in larger populations.

The implications of this research are significant, as it not only enhances our understanding of ME/CFS and long COVID but also accelerates the search for effective treatments.

With Dr. Annesley’s work being recognized through grant awards for further studies, there is renewed hope for uncovering the intricacies of these conditions’ pathologies, including their effects on the gut microbiota, immune system, and metabolism.

By bridging the gap between ME/CFS and long COVID research, Dr. Annesley and her team at La Trobe University are making strides towards improving the lives of those affected by these challenging conditions, offering a beacon of hope for future advancements in treatment and care.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19, death, and how diets could help manage post-COVID syndrome.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about COVID infection and vaccination linked to heart disease, and results showing extracts from two wild plants can inhibit COVID-19 virus.

The research findings can be found in Trends in Molecular Medicine.

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