New Research Provides Insight into Lung COVID and ME — ScienceDaily


Researchers have discovered how post-viral fatigue syndromes, including Lung COVID, become life-changing illnesses and why patients often relapse.

Often resulting from a viral infection, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is known to cause brain-centered symptoms of neuroinflammation, loss of homeostasis, brain fog, lack of refreshing sleep and a poor response to even minor stress.

Lung COVID has similar effects in humans and is also believed to be caused by neuroinflammation.

Lead author emeritus Professor Warren Tate, of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago, says how these debilitating brain effects develop is poorly understood.

In a study published in Frontiers in Neurologyhe and colleagues from Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and University of Technology Sydney developed a unifying model to explain how the brain-centered symptoms of these diseases are supported by a brain-body connection.

They propose that, after an initial viral infection or stressor event, the subsequent systemic pathology travels to the brain via neurovascular pathways or through a dysfunctional blood-brain barrier. This results in chronic neuroinflammation, leading to persistent disease with chronic relapse-recovery cycles.

The model proposes that healing does not occur because a signal continuously circulates from the brain to the body, causing the patient to relapse.

The creation of this model is important not only for the “huge research effort ahead of us” but also in recognizing ME/CFS and long-term COVID patients.

“These diseases are very closely related, and it is clear that the biological basis of Lung COVID is unequivocally linked to the original COVID infection – so there should be no more discussion and doubt that post-viral fatigue syndromes such as ME/ CFS are biologically based and involve a lot of disrupted physiology,” says Professor Emeritus Tate.

This work will allow to develop the best evidence-based knowledge of these diseases and best management practices for medical professionals.

“Patients need proper confirmation of their biological disease and help relieve the painful symptoms of these very difficult life-changing syndromes that are difficult for the patients to treat themselves.

“This work highlighted that there is a susceptible subset of people who develop such syndromes when exposed to severe stress, such as infection with COVID-19 or the glandular fever virus Epstein Barr, or in some people with vaccination that is interpreted as severe stress.” .

“What should be a transient inflammatory/immune response in the body to clear the infection, develop immunity and manage physiological stress becomes chronic and so the disease persists.”

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Materials supplied by University of OtagoNote: Content is editable for style and length.

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