A study shows that blood clotting in patients with long Covid Syndrome is the root cause of symptoms like reduced physical fitness and fatigue.
Fifty patients suffering from the long Covid syndrome were examined by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Ireland to understand if abnormal blood clotting is causing the prolonged symptoms in patients.
What is long Covid syndrome?
Long Covid syndrome is seen in Covid19 patients whereby even after recovering from the infection, individuals experience persistent or new symptoms for a month or more.
The condition can develop after a severe infection or even patients who have experienced mild or no symptoms.
The symptoms of the long covid syndrome include breathlessness, reduced physical strength, low exercise tolerance, Pain in the chest, significant hair loss, fatigue and many more.
These symptoms last for a couple of weeks or even several months after recovery from the initial infection and have affected millions of people worldwide.
A recent study found that there could be more than 200 symptoms that people worldwide are experiencing.
A study in the United States found that nearly 25% of patients are experiencing long Covid syndrome months after their recovery.
A similar study in the United Kingdom found that more than two million people may have suffered the long Covid symptoms.
The UK government has set aside more than 60 million dollars for research on long Covid.
In India, 40% – 60% of patients who had severe symptoms during the initial infection resulting in hospitalization have suffered prolonged symptoms even after recovery for nearly twelve weeks.
Among these patients, 10%-15% have experienced long Covid symptoms even after three months post-recovery.
The Study report by Researchers
The study conducted by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Ireland has been published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
The study found that clotting markers were more elevated in the blood of patients suffering from long Covid syndrome compared to healthy controls.
Additionally, the clotting markers were higher in patients who required hospitalization due to severe symptoms during their initial Covid19 infection.
According to the study, this high clotting is directly related to the symptoms of long Covid syndrome, such as fatigue and lack of physical fitness.
However, the researchers also found that patients with mild symptoms who recovered from home isolation showed high clothing markers.
Although high levels of inflammation had returned to normal in these patients, clotting potential remained high in individuals suffering from the long Covid syndrome.
Helen Fogarty, PhD student at RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and the lead author of the study, said that “Because clotting markers were elevated while inflammation markers had returned to normal, our results suggest that the clotting system may be involved in the root cause of long Covid-19 syndrome”.
According to Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI, the first step towards developing effective treatments is understanding the root cause of a disease.
“Millions of individuals are already dealing with the symptoms of long Covid-19 syndrome, and more people will develop long Covid-19 as the infections among the unvaccinated continue to occur.
It is imperative that we continue to study this condition and develop effective treatments”, Professor James O’Donnell said.
Another study conducted by a team at the University of Cambridge, UK, suggests that small protein molecules called cytokines could link to the Long Covid condition.
Cytokines are produced by the body in response to infections and are often lingering in a person’s body for months after infection.
A simple new blood test was also developed by the team from Cambridge that may determine whether if Covid-19 survivors will experience long-term symptoms.