Many people suffer from Long Covid. A new study could now bring a breakthrough in treatment.
Berlin – According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), around one in ten people infected with corona suffers from Long Covid – i.e. from the serious long-term consequences of a corona infection. Most people affected by Long Covid experience fatigue, exhaustion and lack of energy.
For many of those affected, even a few steps are an enormous effort. Many other symptoms can also occur with Long Covid. Around 200 symptoms are now classified as long-term consequences of a corona infection: from memory lapses and neurological failures to loss of smell to myocarditis, thromboembolism and many types of pain.
Long Covid: Study from Yale should bring breakthrough in treatment
The suffering of those affected is great, as no special treatment for Long Covid has been found so far. The cause of many of the symptoms was not clear to scientists. However, researchers have now found out what could trigger the long-term effects and published a study with their findings. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) shared information about the study on Twitter and commented on it with the words: “Finally there is light in the long Covid tunnel”.
Professor Akiko Iwasaki from the Yale School of Medicine has been researching Long Covid for over two years. She and her colleagues examined 215 patients. Compared to the control group, it was noticeable that those affected had a different cortisol level. This was lower in the long-Covid patients than in all other study participants.
Important hormone: Long-Covid patients have lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is an endogenous hormone that performs important metabolic tasks. The hormone is particularly released in stressful situations, which is why it is also known as the stress hormone. Among other things, the hormone has an influence on blood sugar levels, bone formation, protein metabolism and fat tissue metabolism.
It also inhibits the immune system, which is why it is also used, for example, as a drug in the form of cortisone to combat inflammatory reactions. Additionally, researchers have observed an unexpected increase in antibody responses against non-SARS-CoV-2 viral agents. The study contributes to a better understanding of Long Covid and helps in its therapy. (at)