January 2023 Newsletter

An illustration of COVID-19 attacking a person.

Published January 1, 2023

Could Low-Dose Lithium Treat Long COVID? UB Launches Clinical Trial to Find Out


A University at Buffalo placebo-controlled trial is examining the effects of low-dose lithium therapy on long COVID symptoms.

What is a placebo-controlled trial?

This type of study means that neither the patient nor the physician knows if the patient has received lithium, the investigational product, or an inactive placebo.

What is the clinical trial testing?

Long COVID is believed to be stemmed from chronic inflammation and lithium has anti-inflammatory actions. That’s why Thomas J. Guttuso Jr., MD, decided to recommend that patients try low-dose lithium for long COVID symptoms.

Am I eligible to participate?

Those who are eligible to participate must meet the following criteria:

  • 18 to 80 years old
  • Tested positive for COVID-19
  • Experiencing fatigue and/or brain fog for more than four weeks post COVID-19 infection
  • Has not used tobacco or marijuana products for more than six months
  • Not pregnant or planning to get pregnant over the next five weeks
  • Live within a two-hour drive to Buffalo

What can I expect if I participate?

Those who are eligible will be required to have two office visits at UBMD Neurology, located at 5851 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221. Patients will be randomly assigned either investigational product or inactive placebo, which will be taken once daily over the course of five weeks.

Where can I get more information?

If you are interested in learning more, please call Guttuso at (716) 859-2424

Long COVID in the News

Yale School of Medicine

Brain fog, one of long COVID’s most common symptoms, can be debilitating; however, there is currently no approved treatment for this symptom. Yale researchers have published a small trial in 12 patients with two existing medications, Guanfacine, a medication for ADHD, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, used together. They found that in 8 of the 12 patients, there was reduction in brain fog. Though encouraging, confirmation of these findings in larger studies with a placebo arm is required.

Cornell Chronicle

A recent study based on Electronic Health Records of more than 36,000 individuals has found that long COVID can present itself as four different subtypes, the first being heart, kidney, and circulation symptoms, the second being respiratory and sleep, anxiety, headache, and chest pains, the third and fourth being bone, joints, and muscle symptoms and nervous system symptoms. Researchers are using these findings to better identify risk factors and repurpose existing treatment options.

UBCoV Updates

As we enter 2023, the long COVID registry (UBCoV) is approaching the six-month mark of being available to the Western New York community. Some notable findings of the registry include:

1. 70% of participants are female

Recent findings in long COVID research show that women are more likely to develop long COVID.

2. A majority of participants have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, asthma, and/or autoimmune disorders prior to developing long COVID

Those with preexisting conditions are found to be more likely to develop long COVID.

3. 54% of participants are limited when performing vigorous physical activity

Reduced exercise capacity is common amongst long COVID patients.

Register Today

If you had COVID-19 and would like to participate, enter the registry and begin filling out the questionnaire.

If you have already participated, feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Additional Questions?

Contact us: (716) 382 - 1808 / ubcov@buffalo.edu