Image description: The picture shows Long Covid infection. Inset: Akiko Iwasaki, PhD. The title reads America: Distinct immune and hormone responses shed light on Long Covid. ME Association logo bottom right

America: Distinct immune and hormone responses shed light on Long Covid

People who have experienced brain fog, confusion, pain, and extreme fatigue for months or longer after being infected with the COVID-19 virus exhibit different immune and hormonal responses to the virus than those not diagnosed with long COVID, according to a new study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Yale News by Bill Hathaway

Article Extracts

The researchers observed significant differences between the circulating antibodies and other immune system cells among those with long COVID and the other groups of patients.

Among those who had exhibited long COVID researchers also found increased circulation of antibodies that help the body fight non-COVID-19 viruses, particularly those known to defend against Epstein-Barr virus, a human herpesvirus that has been linked with many cancers. In addition, these patients had markedly lower levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone released by the adrenal glands in times of stress.

While these findings reveal key biological processes associated with long COVID, the complexity of individual responses means developing therapies to treat the ailment will be difficult, the authors say.

“There is no ‘silver bullet’ for treating long COVID, because it is an illness that infiltrates complex systems such as the immune and hormonal regulation,” said co-senior author David Putrino, a professor of rehabilitation and human performance at Icahn Mount Sinai and director of the Cohen Center for Recovery From Complex Chronic Illness.

The new insights, however, provide important clues that may help in developing new diagnostics and therapies, Iwasaki said.

“Once we have more information on these signals, we can start to think about designing the right trials to treat this condition,” she said.

More information

Shopping Basket