A proposed exercise trial for Long Covid is being criticised by some of the patients the government-funded researchers want to study.
The trial is part of the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative, funded by the US government for $1.15 billion over four years. It aims to study Long Covid and help find treatments for the millions of people experiencing a range of long-lasting symptoms, including extreme fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath.
The exercise study protocol has not been finalised, but it will test physical therapy at different intensity levels, tailored to the patient’s capabilities, and aim to improve endurance, said Adrian Hernandez, executive director of Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Some Long Covid advocates, however, say that any exercise trial could be potentially dangerous for long-covid patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Studies show that people with ME/CFS don’t have the same response to physical exertion as healthy individuals, and many ME/CFS patients report a worsening of symptoms after even small amounts of activity. This crash is called post-exertional malaise.
Advocates now worry that Long Covid patients with ME/CFS could be similarly harmed if they take part in any exercise study.
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Source: Washington Post, 22 May 2023
Further reading on the hub:
Understanding Covid-19 as a vascular disease and its implications for exercise
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