Posted: Sun 18th Jul 2021

15 new studies across the UK will expand research into long COVID

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 18th, 2021


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Thousands of people suffering with long COVID could benefit from new research programmes to better understand the condition, improve diagnosis and find new treatments.

A programme of 15 new research studies, backed by £20m of UK government funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will allow researchers across the UK to draw together their expertise from analysing long COVID among those suffering long-term effects and the health and care professionals supporting them.

The latest research shows that although many people make a full recovery following COVID-19, a significant proportion of people continue to experience chronic symptoms for months.

These ground breaking studies aim to help those people affected return to their normal lives.

The projects will focus on better understanding the condition and identifying it

Evaluating the effectiveness of different care services and better integrating specialist, hospital and community services for those suffering with long COVID

The projects will also identify effective treatments, such as drugs, rehabilitation and recovery to treat people suffering from chronic symptoms

Improving home monitoring and self-management of symptoms and identifying and understanding the effect of particular symptoms of long COVID, such as breathlessness, reduced ability to exercise and brain fog, will also be part of the project. 

Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair of NIHR’s long COVID funding committee and Medical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), said:

“This package of research will provide much needed hope to people with long-term health problems after COVID-19, accelerating development of new ways to diagnose and treat long COVID, as well as how to configure healthcare services to provide the absolute best care.”

“Together with our earlier round of funding, NIHR has invested millions into research covering the full gamut of causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of long COVID.”

The selection process for this broad range of innovative studies into long COVID involved people with lived experience at every stage and their input has been invaluable in shaping the outcome of this call and the research projects which will receive funding.

One study at Cardiff University will focus on the immunologic and virologic determinants of long COVID.

It will look at the role of the immune system in long-term disease and whether overactive or impaired immune responses could drive long COVID by causing widespread inflammation.

UK Government Minister for Wales Simon Hart said:

“The development and distribution of the vaccine means we can now see an end to the pandemic and Wales has played a significant part via Wrexham’s Wockhardt facility where the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine continues to be produced.”

“Following this investment I hope Cardiff University can play a similarly important role in understanding and countering the long-term effects of the virus as we emerge from the pandemic.”

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