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Blood abnormalities found in people with Long Covid - Science

Blood abnormalities found in people with Long Covid - Science

Aug 16, 2022 1 min, 8 secs

An ambitious study of people with Long Covid, the mysterious, disabling symptoms that can trail a SARS-CoV-2 infection, has turned up a host of abnormalities in their blood.

The new study, posted as a preprint last week, was modest in size, examining just 99 people with Long Covid.

The Long Covid patients, most of them struggling with intense fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms, had low levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that helps the body control inflammation, glucose, sleep cycles, and more.

Other groups studying Long Covid patients have reported similar results this year, including in a January Cell paper that documented low cortisol in those with long-lived respiratory symptoms, and reactivation of viruses in patients with neurological issues.

The new Long Covid project began in late 2020, when Yale University immunologist Akiko Iwasaki teamed up with David Putrino, a neurophysiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who was caring for affected patients.

The low cortisol levels in the Long Covid patients, about half of normal levels, aren’t a total surprise: Symptoms such as fatigue and muscle weakness are associated with less of the hormone.

But, “The level of consistency is great” among recent studies probing Long Covid biology, says James Heath, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, an author of the Cell paper that found low cortisol and virus reactivation.


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