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Found 198 results
  1. News Article
    People with long Covid have evidence of continuing inflammation in their blood, which could help understanding of the condition and how it may be treated, a UK study suggests. It found the presence of certain proteins increased the risk of specific symptoms, such as fatigue, in people sick enough to need hospital treatment. It is unclear whether milder cases of Covid have the same effect on the body. A test remains a long way off - but the findings may prompt future trials. Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 April 2024 Related reading on the hub: Top picks: 12 research papers on Long Covid
  2. Content Article
    One in ten severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections result in prolonged symptoms termed long coronavirus disease (Covid), yet disease phenotypes and mechanisms are poorly understood. This study profiled 368 plasma proteins in 657 participants ≥3 months following hospitalisation. Of these, 426 had at least one long Covid symptom and 233 had fully recovered.  The study aimed to understand inflammatory processes that underlie Long Covid. The findings suggest that specific inflammatory pathways related to tissue damage are implicated in subtypes of Long Covid, which might be targeted in future therapeutic trials. Related reading on the hub: Top picks: 12 research papers on Long Covid
  3. News Article
    Some 6.8% of American adults are currently experiencing long Covid symptoms, according to a new survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealing an “alarming” increase in recent months even as the health agency relaxes Covid isolation recommendations, experts say. That means an estimated 17.6 million Americans could now be living with long Covid. “This should be setting off alarms for many people,” said David Putrino, the Nash Family Director of the Cohen Center for Recovery From Complex Chronic Illness at Mount Sinai. “We’re really starting to see issues emerging faster than I expected.” When the same survey was conducted in October, 5.3% of respondents were experiencing long Covid symptoms at the time. The 1.5 percentage-point increase comes after the second-biggest surge of infections across the US this winter, as measured by available wastewater data. More than three-quarters of the people with long Covid right now say the illness limits their day-to-day activity, and about one in five say it significantly affects their activities – an estimated 3.8 million Americans who are now experiencing debilitating illness after Covid infection. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 March 2024
  4. Content Article
    We are seeing more and more people who have been devastated by the long-lasting impact of Covid-19. Long Covid is a relatively new condition which is still being studied and the need for more awareness and advocacy has never been greater. Scientists are carrying out large-scale clinical trials and researchers are on the hunt for new therapies in the hope that patients with Long Covid will finally see improvements in treatment and support for their symptoms.  In this Top picks blog, shared on International Long Covid Awareness Day, we highlight 12 recent research papers on Long Covid. 
  5. Content Article
    In this Medscape article, nephrologist F Perry Wilson explains the findings of a binational cohort study using the universal electronic health record systems of South Korea and Japan. Data from more than 20 million individuals living in these countries from 2020 to 2021 was used to investigate the effect of Covid-19 on long-term risk for incident autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis, over various follow-up periods. The study authors found that, compared with those infected with flu, those infected with Covid-19 were more likely to be diagnosed with any autoimmune condition, connective tissue disease, and in Japan, inflammatory arthritis. Wilson observes that although we can't draw causal conclusions from the results, the study highlights that Covid-19 has very different long term effects to other respiratory viruses. 
  6. Content Article
    More than 3 years after the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, a wave of evidence suggests that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can lead to postacute sequelae in pulmonary and broad array of extrapulmonary organ systems—including increased risks and burdens of cardiovascular disorders, neurologic and mental health disorders, metabolic disorders (diabetes and dyslipidemia), kidney disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. However, up until now, evidence is mostly limited to the first year postinfection. Bowe et al. built a cohort of 138,818 individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection and 5,985,227 noninfected control group from the US Department of Veterans Affairs and followed them for 2 years to estimate the risks of death and 80 prespecified postacute sequelae of Covid-19 (PASC) according to care setting during the acute phase of infection. They found that the increased risk of death was not significant beyond 6 months after infection among nonhospitalised but remained significantly elevated through the 2 years in hospitalised individuals. Within the 80 prespecified sequelae, 69% and 35% of them became not significant at 2 years after infection among nonhospitalised and hospitalised individuals, respectively. In summary, while risks of many sequelae declined 2 years after infection, the substantial cumulative burden of health loss due to PASC calls for attention to the care needs of people with long-term health effects due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  7. Content Article
    This study compared the blood of patients with confirmed Covid-19 infection with that of uninfected controls. The authors found that there were changes to serum proteins in the blood of patients experiencing Long Covid. This indicates activation of the immune system’s complement cascade, altered coagulation and tissue injury. At the cellular level, Long Covid was linked to aggregates comprising monocytes and platelets. These findings provide knowledge of potential biomarkers for diagnosis and may inform directions for treatments.
  8. Content Article
    Sepsis is an emergency medical condition where the immune system overreacts to an infection. It affects people of all ages and, without urgent treatment, can lead to organ failure and death. This leaflet by the Sepsis Trust outlines the symptoms of sepsis in children and aims to help parents and carers identify when to seek medical help.
  9. News Article
    People experiencing Long Covid have measurable memory and cognitive deficits equivalent to a difference of about six IQ points, a study suggests. The study, which assessed more than 140,000 people in summer 2022, revealed that Covid-19 may have an impact on cognitive and memory abilities that lasts a year or more after infection. People with unresolved symptoms that had persisted for more than 12 weeks had more significant deficits in performance on tasks involving memory, reasoning and executive function. Scientist said this showed that “brain fog” had a quantifiable impact. Prof Adam Hampshire, a cognitive neuroscientist at Imperial College London and first author of the study, said: “It’s not been at all clear what brain fog actually is. As a symptom it’s been reported on quite extensively, but what our study shows is that brain fog can correlate with objectively measurable deficits. That is quite an important finding.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 February 2024
  10. Content Article
    Poor memory and difficulty thinking or concentrating (commonly referred to as “brain fog”) have been implicated in syndromes occurring after Covid-19 — a situation that has led to suggestions that Covid-19 may have lasting cognitive consequences. However, objective data on cognitive performance are largely lacking, and how long such deficits may persist and which cognitive functions are most vulnerable are unclear. In this observational study, Hampshire et al. invited 800,000 adults in a study in England to complete an online assessment of cognitive function. The authors estimated a global cognitive score across eight tasks. They hypothesised that participants with persistent symptoms (lasting ≥12 weeks) after infection onset would have objectively measurable global cognitive deficits and that impairments in executive functioning and memory would be observed in such participants, especially in those who reported recent poor memory or difficulty thinking or concentrating (“brain fog”). They found that participants with resolved persistent symptoms after Covid-19 had objectively measured cognitive function similar to that in participants with shorter-duration symptoms, although short-duration Covid-19 was still associated with small cognitive deficits after recovery. Longer-term persistence of cognitive deficits and any clinical implications remain uncertain.
  11. Content Article
    Eating Disorders Awareness Week takes place 26 February - 3 March 2024 Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that affect an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK. There are many unhelpful myths about who eating disorders affect, what the symptoms are and how to support people in recovery. Alongside a current lack of appropriately trained staff and capacity in mental health services, this can make it challenging for people with eating disorders to access the help and support they need. Patient Safety Learning has pulled together ten useful resources shared on the hub to help healthcare professionals, friends and family support people with eating disorders. They include awareness-raising articles, practical tips for patients and their loved ones, and clinical guidance for primary, secondary and mental health providers.
  12. Content Article
    Brain fog is one of the most common, persistent complaints in patients with Long Covid, affecting up to 46% of patients, many of whom also deal with other cognitive concerns like memory loss and difficulty concentrating.  This Medscape article looks at new research suggesting these symptoms may be the result of a viral-borne brain injury that causes cognitive and mental health issues that persist for years. This may offer new options for treating brain fog and other cognitive symptoms associated with Long Covid.
  13. News Article
    From forgetfulness to difficulties concentrating, many people who have Long Covid experience “brain fog”. Now researchers say the symptom could be down to the blood-brain barrier becoming leaky. The barrier controls which substances or materials enter and exit the brain. “It’s all about regulating a balance of material in blood compared to brain,” said Prof Matthew Campbell, co-author of the research at Trinity College Dublin. “If that is off balance then it can drive changes in neural function and if this happens in brain regions that allow for memory consolidation/storage then it can wreak havoc.” Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Campbell and colleagues report how they analysed serum and plasma samples from 76 patients who were hospitalised with Covid in March or April 2020, as well 25 people before the pandemic. Among other findings, the team discovered that samples from the 14 Covid patients who self-reported brain fog contained higher levels of a protein called S100β than those from Covid patients without this symptom, or people who had not had Covid. This protein is produced by cells within the brain, and is not normally found in the blood, suggesting these patients had a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 February 2024
  14. Content Article
    Undervaccination—receiving fewer than the recommended number of Covid-19 vaccine doses—could be associated with increased risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes including hospitalisation or death compared with full vaccination. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with undervaccination and to investigate the risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes in people who were undervaccinated in each UK nation, and across the UK. The authors found that rates of undervaccination against Covid-19 ranged from 32·8% to 49·8% across the four UK nations in summer 2022. They also concluded that undervaccination was associated with an elevated risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes.
  15. Content Article
    An estimated 2.1 million people are living with Long Covid in the UK alone. The Conversation recently asked 888 people in the UK with Long Covid about their experiences of stigma, and 95% of them said they had experienced stigma related to their condition. On top of the physical symptoms, people living with Long Covid may have to contend with discrimination and prejudice within their communities, workplaces and even health services. Long Covid is a relatively new medical condition, and has been subject to lots of misinformation and minimisation of its legitimacy as a physical illness. To date, there have been no estimates as to how common stigma around long COVID is, which has limited our ability to tackle the problem. Being aware of numerous anecdotes of the discrimination Long Covid patients face, The Conversation decided to look into the extent of this problem and designed a questionnaire together with people who had lived experience of the illness. The questions aimed to estimate how commonly people with Long Covid experience stigma across three domains. “Enacted stigma” means being treated unfairly due to their long COVID, “internalised stigma” is where people feel embarrassed or ashamed of their illness, and “anticipated stigma” is a person’s expectation that they will be treated poorly because of their condition.
  16. Content Article
    Falsified, potentially harmful Ozempic and Saxenda products have been found in the UK. This drug safety update from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) asks healthcare professionals to remind patients using these products to always obtain prescription medicines from a qualified healthcare provider and not to use products they suspect are falsified as this may lead to serious health consequences. Healthcare professionals must also remain vigilant for symptoms linked to hypoglycaemia in patients who may have obtained a falsified product containing insulin. Read the full update and advice for healthcare professionals and the public via the link below.
  17. Content Article
    A NIHR-funded study has reached an agreement amongst researchers and patients on how best to measure improvement in Long Covid. Researchers have identified a Core Outcome Measure Set (COMS). This is designed to help researchers and clinicians measure the severity and impact of Long COVID. COMS specify key things that should be measured in all patients. This improves how data can be compared and summarised. Researchers say this will speed up the development of treatments for Long Covid. 
  18. News Article
    People living with long Covid after being admitted to hospital are more likely to show some damage to major organs, according to a new study. MRI scans revealed patients were three times more likely to have some abnormalities in multiple organs such as the lungs, brain and kidneys. Researchers believe there is a link with the severity of the illness. It is hoped the UK study will help in the development of more effective treatments for Long Covid. The study, published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, looked at 259 patients who fell so ill with the virus that they were admitted to hospital. Five months after they were discharged, MRI scans of their major organs showed some significant differences when compared to a group of 52 people who had never had Covid. The biggest impact was seen on the lungs, where the scans were 14 times more likely to show abnormalities. MRI scans were also three times more likely to show some abnormalities in the brain - and twice as likely in the kidneys - among people who had had severe Covid. Dr Betty Raman, from the University of Oxford and one of the lead investigators on the study, says it is clear that those living with long Covid symptoms are more likely to have experienced some organ damage. She said: "The patient's age, how severely ill they were with Covid, as well as if they had other illnesses at the same time, were all significant factors in whether or not we found damage to these important organs in the body." Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 September 2023
  19. Content Article
    This checklist has been developed by the Alzheimer’s Society to allow patients to check symptoms that could be a possible sign of dementia. Endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), it is a simple tool to help patients and their families clearly communicate their symptoms and concerns to a GP or other healthcare professional. It is not a diagnostic tool, but aims to provide a basis for helpful conversations.
  20. Content Article
    This review from Davis et al. summarises the biology and consequences of menopause, the role of supportive care, and the menopause-specific therapeutic options available to women.
  21. News Article
    Blood clots in the brain or the lungs might explain some common symptoms of "Long Covid", including brain fog and fatigue, a UK study suggests. In the study, of 1,837 people admitted to hospital because of Covid, researchers say two blood proteins point to clots being one cause. It is thought 16% of such patients have trouble thinking, concentrating or remembering for at least six months. But the research team, from the universities of Oxford and Leicester, stress: Their findings are relevant only to patients admitted to hospital. They are "the first piece of the jigsaw" but further research is needed before they can propose or test any potential treatments. They tracked cognitive problems at six and 12 months only and through tests and questionnaires, which may "lack sensitivity". Identifying predictors and possible mechanisms was "a key step" in understanding post-Covid brain fog, study author Prof Paul Harrison, from the University of Oxford, said. Leicester's professor of respiratory medicine, Chris Brightling, said: "It's a combination of someone's health before, the acute event itself and what happens afterwards that lead on to physical and mental health consequences." Read full story Source: BBC News, 31 August 2023
  22. News Article
    Damage to the body’s organs including the lungs and kidneys is common in people who were admitted to hospital with Covid, with one in eight found to have heart inflammation, researchers have revealed. As the pandemic evolved, it became clear that some people who had Covid were being left with ongoing symptoms – a condition that has been called Long Covid. Previous studies have revealed that fewer than a third of patients who have ongoing Covid symptoms after being hospitalised with the disease feel fully recovered a year later, while some experts have warned Long Covid could result in a generation affected by disability. Now researchers tracking the progress of patients who were treated in hospital for Covid say they have found evidence the disease can take a toll on a range of organs. What’s more, they say the severity of ongoing symptoms appears to be linked to the severity of the Covid infection itself. “Even fit, healthy individuals can suffer severe Covid-19 illness and to avoid this, members of the public should take up the offer of vaccination,” said Prof Colin Berry, of the University of Glasgow, which led the CISCO-19 (Cardiac imaging in Sars coronavirus disease-19) study. “Our study provides objective evidence of abnormalities at one to two months post-Covid and these findings tie in with persisting symptoms at that time and the likelihood of ongoing health needs one year later,” Berry added. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 May 2022
  23. News Article
    More than half of people hospitalised with Covid-19 still have at least one symptom two years after they were first infected, according to the longest follow-up study of its kind. While physical and mental health generally improve over time, the analysis suggests that coronavirus patients discharged from hospital still tend to experience poorer health and quality of life than the general population. The research was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine. “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully,” said the lead author, Prof Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship hospital in China. Until now, the long-term health effects of Covid-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned about a year. The absence of pre-Covid-19 health status data and comparisons with the general population in most studies also made it difficult to determine how well patients with Covid-19 have recovered. “Ongoing follow-up of Covid-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long Covid, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programmes for recovery,” said Cao. “There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had Covid-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health outcomes.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 May 2022
  24. News Article
    An analysis of data from 50 studies looking at 1.6 million people suggests that as much as 43% of those infected with the coronavirus experienced post-Covid conditions, pointing to the need for better diagnosis and care for “long Covid” patients. Post-Covid conditions are clinically defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as mid- and long-term symptoms – also known as Long Covid – occurring in individuals after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The research, published this week in the Journal of Infectious Disease, assessed 23 symptoms reported across 36 of the studies and found that shortness of breath, sleep problems, and joint pain was widely reported by those who had recovered from the novel coronavirus infection. Researchers say fatigue (23%) and memory problems (14%) were the most common symptoms of individuals experiencing post-Covid conditions. While about 34% of non-hospitalised coronavirus patients report lingering post-Covid symptoms, scientists say this rate jumps to over 50% for hospitalised Covid patients. “Long Covid is quite common overall and across geographic regions, sex and acute COVID-19 severity. Knowing this, providers should take proactive approaches such that their patients are well-supported when experiencing long-term health effects of Covid-19,” scientists wrote in the study. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 April 2022
  25. News Article
    A new symptom of long Covid has been revealed by scientists at the University of Leeds. Though most people who contract Covid recover within a few days or weeks of experiencing initial symptoms, some people can experience longer, more persistent symptoms – termed Long Covid or post Covid-19 syndrome by the NHS. Until now, the most commonly identified symptoms have included extreme tiredness, loss of smell, muscle aches and shortness of breath. Others include memory problems, chest pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness, joint pain, tinnitus and depression and anxiety. Now, a new study has revealed a previously unidentified symptom of long Covid. Published in The Lancet medical journal, the research detailed a new symptom of the condition after a 33-year-old man was referred to the specialists’ clinic. The patient had a six-month history of what the authors describe as a “rapid purple discolouration” on his legs. When standing, he remarked that they would feel progressively heavier and become “tingly, itchy and dusky” in colour. He added that a rash would occasionally appear on his feet, but that the mysterious symptoms would disappear when laying down. The disorder is known as acrocyanosis or persistent and extreme blue or cyanotic discolouration. It typically occurs in the hands and feet but can also appear across the nose and ears. “This was a striking case of acrocyanosis in a patient who had not experienced it before his Covid-19 infection”, said co-author Dr Manoj Sivan, associate clinical professor and honorary consultant in rehabilitation medicine at the University of Leeds. “Patients experiencing this may not be aware that it can be a symptom of Long Covid and dysautonomia, and may feel concerned about what they are seeing. Similarly, clinicians may not be aware of the link between acrocyanosis and Long Covid. We need to ensure that there is more awareness of dysautonomia [malfunctioning of the nervous system] in Long Covid so that clinicians have the tools they need to manage patients appropriately.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 August 2023
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