May 4, 2022 - News

University of Denver researchers study COVID long-haulers

Illustration of a series of COVID shapes lined up to make a gradient of colors
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

University of Denver researchers are recruiting participants to study long COVID, which has affected as many as 24 million Americans.

Why it matters: Long COVID β€” likely a number of different disorders sparked by a coronavirus infection β€” continues to mystify medical experts and frustrate those struggling with diagnoses and treatment.

The intrigue: DU's study builds off years of research into concussions.

  • Data will be shared with High Definition Physical Therapy, a partner clinic in Englewood specializing in concussion recovery, to help determine whether there are overlapping treatments that can help COVID long-haulers.

What they're saying: Brain injury specialists are noticing concussion patients who had made progress in treatment "regressing back to how they presented at the start of their concussion" after having COVID, said Dan Stoot, a physical therapist at High Definition Physical Therapy, in a statement.

  • "We have to think more physically [about] what are the physiological explanations for all this and how can a virus impact movement systems," he added.

Details: Faculty and student researchers at the University of Denver's Human Dynamics Lab are enlisting people who have tested positive for COVID for three months or more to test their brain system and eye movement.

  • The study will start with 100 patients β€” half of whom have long COVID symptoms and half who don't.
  • Researchers plan to unveil initial results this summer, when they will decide whether to expand the study.
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