Aug 10, 2022 - Health

Clear results elusive in long COVID studies

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

There are 26 clinical trials underway to find an effective treatment for long COVID, but many of them are too small or lack the necessary control groups to give clear results, according to Nature.

What they're saying: "If you look at long COVID at this moment in time, I'd paint a slightly 'Wild West' and desperate picture really," says immunologist Danny Altmann at Imperial College London, per Nature.

  • Funding from the U.S. and U.K. has largely gone toward research characterizing the condition, rather than treatments, he said.

Be smart: Long COVID has proved to be a difficult disorder to define, prompting researchers to repurpose older drugs developed for other conditions.

  • Studies struggle to even pin down how commonly it occurs.
  • And doctors have been baffled by how it behaves.
  • "We've ended up seeing a lot of patients with mild or moderate, mostly stay-at-home infections that came in with a wide range of symptoms. It was bizarre," Bradley Sanville, a pulmonary and critical care physician who is part of the UC Davis Post-COVID-19 Clinic, told me this spring for an Axios Deep Dive about long COVID.

The bottom line: Even so, researchers do appear to be narrowing in on the pathology underlying long COVID which could ultimately lead to more researchers launching new trials, Ledford writes.

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