Long Covid symtpoms linked to change in body organs – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Long Covid symtpoms linked to change in body organs

A third of people hospitalized with Covid-19 have “abnormalities” in multiple organs months after infection, a British study has found, potentially shedding light on the long-elusive disease Covid-19, reports RTE.

Millions of people around the world are estimated to be suffering from long-term COVID-19, in which a range of symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and brain fog persist long after patients first come into contact with the virus.

Much remains unknown about the disease, including how exactly Covid causes such a wide range of symptoms.

The authors of the new study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, said it was a “step forward” in helping chronically ill people with Covid-19.

The study is the first to include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of multiple organs – the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and lungs – after hospitalization for Covid-19.

It compared organ scans from 259 adults hospitalized with Covid across the UK in 2020-21 with a control group of 52 people who never contracted the virus.

The study found that about a third of COVID-19 patients developed abnormalities in multiple organs on average five months after discharge from hospital, reports RTE.

It found that people hospitalized with COVID-19 were 14 times more likely to have lung abnormalities and three times more likely to have brain abnormalities.

However, the researchers added that the heart and liver appear to be more resistant.

Brain abnormalities include a high rate of white matter damage, which is associated with mild cognitive decline.

Among the changes visible in the lungs were scarring and signs of inflammation.

Study co-author Christopher Brightling, from the University of Leicester, said the study provides “concrete evidence there are changes in a number of organs” after hospitalization with Covid, reports RTE.

“Rather, the interaction of two or more abnormalities in organs might have an additive or multiplicative effect in creating physiological deficits that result in long Covid symptoms,” Matthew Baldwin, a pulmonary disease specialist at Columbia University wrote in a Lancet comment article, reports RTE.

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