March 2024 Newsletter

The earth, wearing a medical mask, is surrounded by hands.

Published March 1, 2024

2024 Marks 2nd International Long Covid Awareness Day and Month


The second annual International Long COVID Awareness Day was observed on Friday, March 15th, 2024. Angela Laffin, Founder of International Long COVID Awareness (ICLA), declared: 

“On March 15th we will unite together as a global community with the support of Long COVID organizations, researchers, doctors, and allies from all around the globe to call on the world to confront Long COVID. The reality today is there are millions of people still sick from SARS-CoV-2. The virus is still spreading, people are still developing Long COVID, all while COVID-19 continues to kill large numbers of people.”

On this day, many joined together to spread awareness of long COVID and its effect on our society.

NIH Opens Long COVID Trials to Evaluate Treatments for Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction

Two phase 2 clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of three treatments for adults with autonomic nervous system dysfunction from Long COVID has begun. The two trials, known as RECOVER-AUTONOMIC, are testing three potential treatments in adults who now have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) after COVID-19. POTS is characterized by unexpected fast heart rate, dizziness, fatigue, or combinations of these symptoms when a person stands up from lying down. The trials were designed with the input of people living with Long COVID, caregivers and community representatives and examine three potential treatments:

  • Gamunex-C, a form of intravenous immunoglobulin containing antibodies
  • Ivabradine, an oral medication that reduces heart rate
  • Coordinator-guided, non-drug care, which includes a series of activities such as wearing a compression belt and eating a high-salt diet

With the launch of these new trials, RECOVER is currently testing seven treatments across four clinical trials for Long COVID in total.

Long COVID Brain Fog May be Due to Damaged Blood Vessels

A person examines a brain with a magnifying glass.

Researchers found that in patients with brain fog, MRI scans revealed signs of damaged blood vessels in their brains. It was discovered that long COVID patients can have leaky blood-brain barriers which could explain the memory and concentration problems linked to long COVID. If the blood-brain barrier breaks down, it can make brain tissue vulnerable to bloodborne viruses. The new findings offer an opportunity to think about potential therapies for researchers to explore, including finding a way to slow down the blood-brain barrier’s breakdown, or reverse it.

Long COVID in the News


Could Biofeedback Help Ease Long COVID?

In a small study, breathing and relaxation techniques, called biofeedback, were found to offer relief to some patients battling Long COVID. After six weeks of treatment, patients reported they were sleeping better and had significant improvements in physical, depression and anxiety symptoms. Three months later, they were still seeing the benefit, using fewer prescription medications, and having fewer doctor visits. Researchers hope to see similar findings in future clinical trials.

Very Well Health

Study Finds Link Between Low Iron and Long COVID

Researchers at the University of Cambridge recruited over 200 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and gathered blood samples over the course of a year. Patients ranged from not having any COVID symptoms to being sick enough to be hospitalized. The researchers discovered that 45% of the participants had long COVID symptoms between three and 10 months after originally having COVID-19. These individuals who developed long COVID had issues regulating iron levels. Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious disease at University at Buffalo, states “All creatures need iron to survive, including microbes, and microbes that cause infections need to acquire iron from us.”  More research is needed to determine if iron supplementation would provide any benefit to long COVID patients.

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